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Research studies


  • A two-year pilot study entitled HRIDAY-CATCH evaluated the efficacy of a school-based intervention program for cardiovascular health in 1996, with 30 schools in Delhi
  • A collaborative study with University of Texas, USA entitled ‘MYTRI’ (Mobilizing Youth for Tobacco Related Initiatives in India) during 2002-06 was the first ever comprehensive intervention model designed for providing awareness and inculcating advocacy skills among students for tobacco prevention.
  • Between 2007-2011  Project ACTIVITY (Advancing Cessation of Tobacco in Vulnerable Indian Tobacco Consuming Youth),  was initiated as a community- based group randomized intervention trial designed to prevent onset of tobacco use and promote tobacco cessation among youth (10-19 years), living in 14 low socio-economic communities in Delhi, India. The trial was funded by the Fogarty International Centre, National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA.
  • In a first of its  kind Indian study entitled “Tobacco use in Bollywood movies, tobacco promotional activities and their association with tobacco use among Indian adolescents” HRIDAY has found that Indian adolescents who are exposed to tobacco use in Bollywood films are twice as likely to be tobacco users than those with low exposure. The cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009 among nearly 4000 students from 12 schools across New Delhi to assess their current and ever tobacco use status, receptivity to tobacco promotions and exposure to tobacco use in movies.
  • HRIDAY in collaboration with the Dartmouth Medical School, USA is now conducting a research project entitled “Assessment Of Causality Between Exposure To Tobacco Use In Bollywood Movies And Tobacco Use Among Indian Adolescents.”, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA under the Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award (FIRCA). This study is a longitudinal extension of a previous similar cross-sectional study conducted by HRIDAY in 2009 with about 4000 students in Delhi.  The aim of this study is to determine whether exposure to tobacco use in Bollywood movies is associated with initiation and/or progression of tobacco use in the long run among school going adolescents in Delhi, India.

Earlier Tobacco Control Research

  • In 2002, HRIDAY in collaboration with WHO (Geneva) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, conducted a research project, Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) and Global School Personnel Survey (GSPS), a school-based cross sectional survey with participation of 1731 students and 50 schools of Delhi. The questionnaire aimed at studying youth tobacco use habits in Delhi, in order to catalyze intervention programmes against youth tobacco use. GSPS questionnaires were conducted with 3380 school personnel of government and private schools in Delhi.
  • In 2005-06, HRIDAY developed and designed pictorial health warnings in 22 official languages of India and English for labeling tobacco product packages. These warnings were designed based on ideas from international experience adapted as per India. The health warnings designed for labeling the tobacco products were field tested using qualitative research methodology. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and structured survey questionnaire among groups of tobacco users and non-users were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of these health warnings. FGDs were also conducted with various stakeholders across different age groups and socio-economic strata in society.


The research study ‘Addressing the emerging adolescent obesity in Delhi: A social marketing approach’ is being conducted by HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth), in collaboration with the Universityof Texas, USA. This two year study, funded by University of Texas School of Public Health, USA, was launched in June 2008. The aim of the study is to conduct an extensive needs assessment to design an innovative intervention based on the principles of social marketing in order to curb the obesity epidemic in India. The focus of this study is on students in grades 6th and 8th as well as their parents in 6 schools of Delhi.


HRIDAY is conducting a research project entitled ‘Nutrition Related School Policies and Practices in Schools of Delhi’, a study funded through a seed grant by Centers for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC), New Delhi as a part of a competitive NCD research training fellowship under National Institutes of Health (NIH) Millennium Promise Awards.

The aim of this cross-sectional study is to describe and analyze the current policies and practices in the school environments with a focus on nutrition and physical activity in government and private schools of Delhi over 15 months. Specific objectives are 1) to identify and compare the policies and practices with regard to nutrition and physical activity in government and private schools of Delhi 2) to determine possible associations and gaps between school characteristics, policies and practices 3) to determine if the schools adhere to recommendations provided by authorities such as Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) with respect to their school health programs 4) to explore the perceptions of school staff (teacher/physical education) on existence of school policies and their implementation.

Reliability and validity of self-reported measures of dietary intake and physical activity among secondary school students in Delhi, India

HRIDAY in collaboration with University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston, School of Public Health, USA conducteda research study entitled “Reliability and validity of self-reported measures of dietary intake and physical activity among secondary school students in Delhi, India”. The study design was cross-sectional which aimed to determine the reliability and validity of a self-report measure of dietary habits for secondary school students in Delhi, India. The study objectives were to adapt the school-based physical activity and nutrition (SPAN) monitoring survey to reflect the dietary habits of Indian youth. Additionally, weight status of the children enrolled in the 6th and 8th grade was also determined to estimate the prevalence of obesity in the population. This study was approved by the University of Texas, Health Science Center Committee for Protection of Human Subjects and the Independent Ethics Committee, India.