About the study

By the age of five or six, your kids will form eating, exercise and sleep habits that can last a lifetime.

The Guelph Family Health Study is testing new ways for kids to learn healthy habits early – habits that can significantly lower your child’s risk for disease now and in the future.

Most of us know we need to eat nutritious food, stay active and get good sleep to be healthy.

But the reality is, Canadians aren’t keeping healthy habits. We don’t eat any more vegetables and fruits than we did 30 years ago. Most of us don’t exercise enough to be physically fit. And we are spending too much time sitting still in front of our televisions and computers.

All of these unhealthy habits have consequences. More than half of our population is now overweight or obese, and the same amount live with chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression.

It’s a big problem. So what’s the solution?

We think it starts with our families, and that’s our focus at the Guelph Family Health Study.

The Guelph Family Health Study is a unique research study that is developing and testing ways to help families maintain healthy behaviors over many years.

We’re looking for families with at least one child who is 18 months to five years of age. Our researchers have young kids like you, so we’re focused on practical solutions. To learn more, visit eligibility.

Families who participate in the study will receive six months of customized health advice from our research experts, plus a series of gift cards. To calculate incentives for your family, visit incentives.

The study will begin by recruiting families with young children. Research shows that parents are an important influence on a child’s health behaviours. We think helping families develop healthy habits early will reduce their risk for disease later in life.

We also think that working with families over several generations will help us find the most effective ways to support lifelong healthy habits.

The Guelph Family Health Study is part of the Health for Life Initiative – a group of innovative education and research programs focused on the goals of improving individual, family and population health and reducing chronic disease. The goal of the Health for Life Initiative is to become for family-based chronic disease prevention what the Framingham Heart Study has been for the identification of heart disease risk factors.

For more information about the Guelph Family Health Study, read our frequently asked questions (FAQs).