I.Family Study – Determinants of eating behaviour, lifestyle and health in European children, youths and their parents.

The I.Family study began at the end of April 2013 in Germany. Our team carried out examinations for more than one year in Delmenhorst and Wilhelmshaven. Both sites were also study regions of the IDEFICS study.

All families from the IDEFICS Study were informed about the new I.Family study. Several families agreed to take part in the I.Family study, too.

The I.Family team offered examinations in fasting status in a mobile examination vehicle in the school premises where participants go to school. In this way, children and their parents could take part in the examination in fasting status (e.g. blood sample withdrawal) before school begins.

For further examinations and interviews, families were invited to a centrally located examination centre in the respective study regions. Since February 2015, some participants have been invited for further examinations, e.g. of the taste and sleep quality.

I Family’s mobile examination centre facilitates participants' arrival.

I Family’s mobile examination centre facilitates participants’ arrival.

The transport services of Delmenhorst and Wilhelmshaven, DELBUS and public transportation company “Stadtwerke Verkehrsgesellschaft”, support I.Family. With the invitation to the I.Family examination, participants are entitled to a free round trip to the study centre. All family members who participate in the I.Family study have already received ten euros as a thank-you.

The I Family Study Team: Upper row: Ivonne Tomsic, Antje Kellner, Ramona Dembski, Sabine Bohn, Antje Strecker, Mike Martens. Lower row: Luise Osten, Denis Schaap, Anne Elbrecht, Claudia Kirsch, Laura Mathieu, Nadin Zeidler

The I.Family Study Team: Upper row, from left to right: Ivonne Tomsic, Antje Kellner, Ramona Dembski, Sabine Bohn, Antje Strecker, Mike Martens. Lower row, from left to right: Luise Osten, Denis Schaap, Anne Elbrecht, Claudia Kirsch, Laura Mathieu, Nadin Zeidler


SACANA – The dietary protocol for the I.Family study

The so-called SACANA food protocol is an important part of the study. It shows how children and their parents are supplied with important nutrients. After filling three food protocols on the computer, they received their personal assessment.

To motivate the children to fill all food protocols, the German I.Family team raffled four bikes – two in Delmenhorst and two in Wilhelmshaven. The children could collect a minimum of 300 points with every fully completed SACANA food protocol. If they carefully and correctly filled the SACANA protocol, they got up to 100 points. Whoever reached 1.000 points, automatically qualified to take part in the raffle.

BikeFynn Hillen and Anna-Kristin Pfaff from Delmenhorst as well as Hans-Georg Buthut and Leana Winter from Wilhelmhaven won a bike.

In August 2014, the last bike was raffled: The 12-year old Leana Winter from Wilhelmshaven was the winner.  The bikes were produced under highest quality demands. We’d like to thank the companies FM-Bikes, Zweirad Stadler and Weight Watchers Germany, for sponsoring the bikes.


The background of the study

With the help of the I.Family study, we aim to find out, how and why young persons in Europe chose a particular dietary habit and lifestyle and how this choice influences their health in the long term.

I.Family researchers collect and compile information about the health behaviour of 16.000 children and their families from eight European countries. The study builds on the IDEFICS study whose participants are now transitioning from child to youths. The I.Family research group encompasses many different disciplines.

We hope that I.Family will provide valuable information for policy makers, health professionals and families and identify ways in which a more active and healthier lifestyle can be achieved to improve the vitality and quality of life of children and youths in particular. In this way, the health of families would be promoted in the long term.

Read more about the study in this brochure.


Press releases (from the German I.Family team)

27 April 2015: Socioeconomic status of parents influences children’s eating habits – new study results of the EU project IDEFICS

23 January 2015: EU project I.Family receives awards

23 September 2014: International reference values for children’s health care published



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