Happy family kitchen movement: A cluster randomized controlled trial of a community-based family holistic health intervention in Hong Kong

Chun Yip Henry HO, Moses Wai-keung MUI, Alice WAN, Carol Wing-see YEW, Tai Hing LAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Families are often faced with long working hours and stressful urban lifestyles which adversely affect family well-being. The Happy Family Kitchen Movement project, which emphasized the interaction and integration of physical health and psychosocial health, was conducted to promote well-being and health in Hong Kong families. Social workers and teachers from 54 social service units and schools in collaboration with the research team designed and implemented a brief community-based family "holistic health" intervention for 1983 individuals from 1467 families. In a 3-arm cluster randomized controlled trial, participants were allocated into positive physical activity (PPA), positive healthy diet (PHD), or control group. The positive psychology framework, which encompassed joy, gratitude, and savoring, was used to help families build positive attitudes with stronger motivation to engage in health promotion behaviors. Data were collected at pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention, and at 1-month and 3-month follow-up. Results showed that compared to the control, PPA was effective in improving subjective happiness at immediately post-intervention and PHD was effective in promoting family harmony at 1-month and subjective happiness at 3-month, with small effect size. Both PPA and PHD showed some evidence of effectiveness on mental quality of life at 3-month. Participants' evaluation of the program provided evidence for the perceived usefulness of PPA and PHD. Qualitative data provided additional support for program effectiveness with in-depth insights into the participants' experiences. These two innovative brief interventions could be a viable, attractive and low cost approach for promoting family "holistic health" in community settings. Copyright © 2019 Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Early online dateJan 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 2019


Hong Kong
working hours
health promotion
mobile social services
social worker
quality of life


Ho, H. C. Y., Mui, M. W.-K., Wan, A., Yew, C. W.-S., & Lam, T. H. (2019). Happy family kitchen movement: A cluster randomized controlled trial of a community-based family holistic health intervention in Hong Kong. Journal of Happiness Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10902-018-00071-w


  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Community-based intervention
  • Positive psychology
  • Physical activity
  • Healthy diet
  • Family well-being