What’s required

This page provides a step-by-step list of what we require from you if you choose to register in the Guelph Family Health Study. In total, we estimate that these steps take at least 6.5 hours to complete, but this may vary depending on where you live and how many children you have who are 18 months to five years of age.

Please note that each step can be completed independently and at your convenience.

1. Read the study website (optional)

It is important that you understand the Guelph Family Health Study before you agree to participate. As you register in the study, you will be asked to confirm your willingness and ability to participate in study activities.

This website contains important information about why we are doing the Guelph Family Health Study.  It also tells you what we require from study participants and how we intend to use the information we receive during the study.

You can contact us at any time if you have any questions about the study at 519-824-4120, extension 56168 or coordinator@guelphfamilyhealthstudy.com.

2. Register in the study

Estimated time: 15 minutes

Registration is how you enroll in the study.

During registration, you will be asked to:

  • Confirm your eligibility to participate in the study. You must meet certain criteria to register in the study. These criteria are needed to ensure our research and programs are effective. For a list of study criteria, visit eligibility.
  • Consent. Consenting to participate in the study means that you understand and agree to:
    • the purpose of the study
    • what we need from you as a study participant
    • how we intend to use the information we receive from you during the study

We need your consent to participate in specific study activities so that we can meet standards for conducting research in Ontario.

3. Complete online questionnaires

Estimated time: 1 hour

This study requires you and your spouse or partner (if applicable) to answer questions that will help us understand your family’s health behaviours. You will be asked to complete questionnaires online. Your spouse or partner (if applicable) will be also be encouraged to complete questionnaires online.

Your information will be kept confidential and will not be used outside of the study. To learn more about how we will protect your information, visit privacy.

4. Meet with us at your home

Estimated time: 30 minutes

You will be contacted by the study to book a meeting at your home.  During the meeting at your home, our Study Coordinator will provide you with instructions on how to complete the rest of the study.

5. Track your child's food and exercise

Estimated time: 30 minutes per day

At your home visit we will teach you how to keep a three-day record of the food eaten by your children. We will also ask these children to wear activity monitors for seven days.  The activity monitors are used to keep track of physical activity and sleep.  Activity monitors should be worn at all times, except when your children are in water more than one metre deep or in water for more than 30 minutes.

6. Come for a health assessment

Estimated time: 1.5 hours + travel time

Your family will be asked to visit the University of Guelph for a health assessment.

During the health assessment, we will complete the following for you, your spouse or partner (if applicable) and your children who are between the ages of 18 months and 6 years:

For adults, this will be done using a machine called a BOD POD™. The BOD POD™ is a chamber you sit in for five minutes. You should not eat, drink or exercise for two hours before your BOD POD™ test. You will be asked to wear a bathing suit and cap while you are in the BOD POD™ to reduce the air between your clothing, hair and skin. Please bring a bathing suit with you. We will provide you with a clean bathing cap for the test

For children, this will be done using a bioelectrical impedance measure (BIA). Children will be asked to remove one sock and lay down. Small patches that produce an electrical signal will be attached to their right hand and foot.

Both tests are harmless and painless.

  • Measure your height and weight using a scale and height board, similar to the ones used at your doctor’s office.
  • Measure your waist using a tape measure.
  • Measure your body fat and muscle.
  • Measure your blood pressure using a cuff that wraps around your arm, similar to the one used at your doctor’s office.
  • Collect a saliva sample.  You can provide a saliva sample by spitting several times into a plastic container. You and your children should not eat, drink, chew gum or smoke for 30 minutes before providing your saliva sample.
  • Review your three-day food record.
  • Collect your activity monitors.

7. Provide a blood sample (optional)

Estimated time: 15 minutes per person + travel time

You and your partner or spouse (if applicable) can choose to provide a blood sample at a LifeLabs laboratory in downtown Guelph within three weeks of your health assessment. You can also choose for your children who are between the ages of 18 months and 6 years of age to provide a blood sample.

Giving a blood sample is optional and is not a requirement of this study. You and your family can still participate in the study even if you choose not to provide blood samples.

Blood samples are taken from a vein in your arm using a needle. The laboratory staff who will collect your blood have extensive training and experience taking blood in adults and young children.

8. Participate in follow up activities

Your family will be picked by chance to receive one of the following programs:

Your family may be invited to complete a combination of questionnaires, home visits, food and activity tracking, health assessments and blood samples every six to 12 months for up to 20 years. With your permission, the study team will also keep your family’s information and saliva and blood samples for future research into how genes and blood makeup relate to health behaviours.

Your follow-up assessments will help us learn how human behaviours affect health over time. We think that working with families over several generations will help us find the most effective ways to support lifelong healthy habits.

  • One email per month for six months with health information
  • Four home visits from a health educator and one email per week for six months with health information