The aim of the recently launched European Pre-Start project is to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention to promote healthy lifestyles amongst adolescents aged between 12 and 14 years.

The increase in obesity and physical inactivity in adolescents is provoking an increase in diseases more often associated with adults, such as metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes (DMT2), etc. As such, the launch of interventions related to lifestyle changes may have a significant impact on health and in preventing these diseases in adolescents.

The aim of the Pre-Start study is to identify adolescents with risk factors associated with DMT2 and to describe their distribution in the adolescent population in our setting.

In addition, this study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a health promotion programme aimed at the adolescent population in order to increase physical activity and promote healthy lifestyles.

Five partners from five European Union Member States, namely Greece, Germany, England, Portugal and Spain, are participating in this European project, and a total of 500 adolescents will be recruited for the intervention. In the Basque Country, this study will be conducted in Gipuzkoa (OSI Donostialdea, Tolosaldea and Bidasoa), with the collaboration of the Sub-Directorate for Public Health and Addictions of Gipuzkoa, with 100 subjects being recruited.


Those adolescents identified as having risk factors recruited for the pilot phase will undergo personalised educational sessions of an hour and a half each, once a week, in Primary Care, for eight consecutive weeks. These sessions will use cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic techniques to present topics such as the principles of healthy eating, self-control, improved body image, communication, conflict resolution and assertiveness, as well as improving self-esteem, increasing physical activity and decreasing physical inactivity.

Similarly, and with the aim of increasing awareness, personalised educational sessions will also be held for their parents. The main aim of these sessions will be to raise their awareness of their active and essential participation as a companion for their child during and after the intervention and to facilitate and instil the necessary emotional changes in the family setting.

This programme therefore focuses on adolescents and their family setting, proposing changes for the whole family, which is often the only way to ensure adherence of adolescents to the programme and thus achieve long-term lifestyle changes.

Call for tender for project: Call for tender No. SANCO/2013/C1/004.