The LIKE-project: for a healthier youth in Amsterdam

Sarphati Amsterdam, this is the name of the new scientific research institute that focuses on welfare diseases among young Amsterdammers. An important role in Sarphati Amsterdam is reserved for the AMC Department of Social Medicine. Professor Karien Stronks is leading the LIKE study: a large-scale study into the health of children in Amsterdam East.

The LIKE-project of Karien Stronks is one of the studies that make grateful use of it. LIKE stands for 'Lifestyle Innovations based on youths' Knowledge and Experience'. At this moment the LIKE project is the largest research project of Sarphati Amsterdam. Stronks focuses on new ways to teach young children healthy behavior. This involves both nutrition and exercise and sitting and sleeping behavior. In this context, she studies children aged 10 to 14 from lower socio-economic groups in Amsterdam East; groups where overweight is relatively common.

"LIKE opts for the participatory approach", she explains the working method. "Together with the children, their parents, schools and sports clubs, we discuss what is needed to live a healthier life. Then the municipality starts with the results. If we determine, for example, that there are more garden gardens to come, we then discuss with the municipality how to build them. "The researchers measure the effects such interventions have on the health behavior of young people. They also look at changes in the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as obesity, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

In addition to the AMC, the VU, VUmc and the Amsterdam Approach Healthy Weight also participate in the project, which received a subsidy of 2.5 million euros from the Hartstichting and ZonMw. Among Amsterdammers it is now known under the name 'This is how we stay healthy'.

Sarphati Amsterdam website >>