This was stated by Prof. Violeta Yotova on the occasion of the completion of the project Toy Box (http://mu-varna.bg/BG/Pages/toybox260913.aspx) at the end of this month, in which MU-Varna was involved for four years, in partnership with five European countries. The main results of the project were reported during the final symposium in Brussels, held on 11th April.
As emphasized by the chief researcher on the part of the coordinator (Harokopio University, Athens) Yannis Manios, at least two years of hard work were to elapse for analysis and publication of the results, accumulated during the evaluation processes of various data of the target group - 5-year-olds, from six European countries, including Bulgaria. Physical activity and sedentary behaviour, nutrition and water intake were among the evaluated parameters. The main objective of the project was the development of intervention and its implementation, as well as evaluation of the implementation process and results. "Although it is at a very early stage of analysis, the existing data speak of the success of the intervention," pointed out Prof. Manios.
During the final meeting, the results regarding the cost-effectiveness of the intervention presented by Prof. Lieven Annemans from Ghent University, Belgium, were especially impressive. Although there is no way to calculate all the feasible benefits and hence - their cost, the estimated cost of а successful preventive programme is about €2 per child - a price much lower than the usual for this type of programmes.
The chief researcher on the part of MU-Varna Prof. Violeta Yotova said she was happy with the agreement reached in the Consortium, the information materials on the project and its jolly Kangaroo symbol, developed by the Bulgarian side, to be used, and also adapted in the future. “The work for our team was a real pleasure, but also it was very difficult and at times frustratingly onerous. The young scientists virtually grew up throughout the process - they are already famous scientists! We are satisfied with the empathy of the kindergarten teachers and the principals of kindergartens involved, with the trust of the parents who took part, with the support of the Municipality and Varna public. We have learned a lot and we are proud of the appreciation we received from our far more experienced colleagues from Europe. Varna Medical University is already a well-known factor in studies on childhood obesity".
Tim Lobstein from the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO, now WOF - World Obesity Federation), a host and organizer of the event, pointed out that the seriousness of the results was emphasized by the existing already 19 high impact publications that would be followed by many more, which were expected by the scientific community with interest. The representatives of the European Commission, of six other related research projects, of academic and public organizations who attended the meeting expressed a great interest, too.
Prof. Yotova promised to make available to the general public the results of the project in Europe and especially in Bulgaria as soon as they are ready for the general public. Even now there is an access to a great deal of information on the project, in Bulgarian language as well, on its site:www.toybox-study.eu
stated by Prof. Violet