Trial seeks Auckland family participants to help children reduce their screen-time

31 May 2011

The Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU), University of Auckland, have started a new and exciting study called the SWITCH trial (Screen-time Weight-loss Intervention Targeting Children at Home).

As you probably know, spending a lot of time in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games or computer) is not good for child health.  Kids who watch a lot of TV are more likely to have a problem with obesity and exhibit early warning signs for heart disease like high blood pressure or cholesterol.

The SWITCH study aims to work with Auckland families to help their children (aged 9-12 years) reduce their screen-time.  Once in the study, the participating child and their primary caregiver will be randomly put into one of two groups:

Group 1: will be provided with information, support, skills and strategies aimed at reducing the amount of screen-time their child(ren) are exposed to.  We will also provide the families with an Activity Pack containing alternative activities and games. Group 2: will be asked to continue as normal for 6 months after which they will be provided with the same information and strategies.

Both groups will be asked to attend a baseline and 6 month assessment at their home.  Each assessment will take approximately an hour and a half, where the child and the primary caregiver will complete some questionnaires and physical measures, e.g. height and weight.

This is the first study of its kind in New Zealand.

If you are interested in the SWITCH study, you can contact us directly on 0800 SWITCH or email your enquiry to

The SWITCH team look forward to hearing from you soon.

Midi Tsai Study Manager Clinical Trials Research Unit University of Auckland Phone +64 9 373 7599 extn 84741 Fax +64 9 373 1710