In January 2023, Het Onderzoekshuis from the Netherlands conducted Social Marketing Research in collaboration with JOGG and Public Health Departments Saba and Statia to gain insights into the needs of parents and children aged 4 to 12 living in Sint Eustatius and Saba regarding a healthy lifestyle. Researchers spent a week on Saba conducting interviews, while stakeholders and professionals in the field were interviewed prior over video calls. The results of the study are now available on the Public Entity website.
The primary focus of the research on Saba was to gain insight into families achieving a healthy lifestyle. This information assists the department to identify opportunities for improvement and inform priorities for future programs aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle for children and their parents. By gaining a current understanding of the target audience, Public Health Saba can develop behavior-oriented interventions and collaborate with various departments and on-island stakeholders to support parents and children on Saba.
Key findings of the research highlight the significant role grandparents play in children’s lives and the influence they have on their eating habits and exercise routines. Parents expressed a desire for programs that involve grandparents, recognizing the importance of engaging the whole family in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Parents face challenges in balancing work and childcare responsibilities. They expressed the need for support and guidance in creating positive interactions with their children, particularly during stressful times. Access to adequate outdoor play areas and the availability of consistent sports offerings were identified as areas for improvement.
In terms of promoting a healthy lifestyle, parents associated it primarily with physical well-being but also stressed the importance of mental health. They expressed the need for greater awareness and actions to address parenting style alternatives, and bullying, create open environments for emotional expression, and provide guidelines for healthy nutrition.
Based on the research findings, Public Health aims to enhance current interventions, develop new programs, and collaborate with organizations where children spend a significant amount of time, such as schools and after-school care centers. The goal is to provide comprehensive, family-focused initiatives that address various aspects of a healthy lifestyle that are accessible, supported, and embraced by all.
Public Entity and Public Health would like to express its gratitude JOGG for commissioning this research and to Het Onderzoekshuis for conducting it. We would also like to thank all those who participated in the study, including the parents, children, stakeholders, and professionals who provided valuable insights and contributed to the research process.
To access the full research report, please visit www.sabagov.com/post/social-marketing-research-findings-for-saba
About JOGG: The JOGG approach is a community-based program that targets children aged 0 to 19 with the goal of promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing excess weight and obesity. By reshaping various environments such as leisure activities, schools, homes, sports, neighborhoods, and media, JOGG aims to create supportive conditions for healthier youth. This integrated approach requires essential conditions including political-administrative support, public-private partnerships, shared ownership, the connection between prevention and care, effective communication, and robust monitoring and evaluation. Through collaboration and collective efforts, JOGG strives to foster a healthy future for children and adolescents within the community.