Co-Creation Approach with Action-Oriented Research Methods to Strengthen "Krachtvoer"; A School-Based Programme to Enhance Healthy Nutrition in Adolescents

M.D. Driessen-Willems*, N.H.M. Bartelink, K.M.H.H. Bessems, S.P.J. Kremers, C. Kintzen, P. Van Assema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In recent years, the nutritional pattern of the Dutch adolescent has cautiously improved. However, progress can be gained if more Dutch adolescents adhere to the nutritional guidelines. School-based initiatives offer opportunities to deal with the unhealthy eating behaviours of adolescents via nutrition educational interventions. In designing and/or re-designing school-based interventions, it is important to enhance optimal context-oriented implementation adaptation by involving the complex adaptive school system. This paper elaborates on the way of dealing with the dynamic implementation context of the educational programme "Krachtvoer" (ENG: "Power food") for prevocational schools, how the programme can be adapted to each unique implementation context, and how the programme can be progressively kept up to date. Following a co-creation-guided approach with various intersectoral stakeholders within and outside the school setting, action-oriented mixed research methods (i.e., observations, semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, programme usage monitoring, and questionnaires) constantly provide input to develop the programme and its implementation strategy via continuous micro-process cycles. Successful co-creation of school-based health promotion seems to be dependent on proper intersectoral cooperation between research and practice communities, a national partner network that can provide project-relevant insights and establish capacity building aimed at improving contextual fit, and a time-investment balance in and between sectors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7866
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • action research
  • co-creation
  • nutrition educational intervention
  • school support programme
  • adolescents
  • school health promotion
  • complex adaptive systems
  • sustainability

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