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Open AccessArticle

Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) Study—Differences in Children’s Energy Balance-Related Behaviors (EBRBs) and in Long-Term Stress by Parental Educational Level

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Folkhälsan Research Center, Topeliuksenkatu 20, 00250 Helsinki, Finland
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Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
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Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
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Department of Early Childhood Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, 10 Lo Ping Road, New Territories, Hong Kong
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School of Food and Agriculture, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 412, 60320 Seinäjoki, Finland
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Department of Social Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Turku, Assistentinkatu 7, 20500 Turku, Finland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102313
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 21 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Obesity Treatment and Prevention)
This paper describes the Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) survey process and socioeconomic status (SES) differences in children’s energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs), meaning physical activity, sedentary and dietary behaviors, and long-term stress that serve as the basis for the intervention development. A cross-sectional survey was conducted during 2015–2016 in 66 Finnish preschools in eight municipalities involving 864 children (3–6 years old). Parents, preschool personnel, and principals assessed environmental factors at home and preschool with questionnaires. Measurement of children’s EBRBs involved three-day food records, food frequency questionnaires (FFQ), seven-day accelerometer data, and seven-day sedentary behavior diaries. Children’s long-term stress was measured by hair cortisol concentration. Parental educational level (PEL) served as an indicator of SES. Children with low PEL had more screen time, more frequent consumption of sugary beverages and lower consumption of vegetables, fruit, and berries (VFB) than those with high PEL. Children with middle PEL had a higher risk of consuming sugary everyday foods than children with high PEL. No PEL differences were found in children’s physical activity, sedentary time, or long-term stress. The DAGIS intervention, aiming to diminish SES differences in preschool children’s EBRBs, needs to have a special focus on screen time and consumption of sugary foods and beverages, and VFB. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy balance-related behaviors; preschool; children; socioeconomic differences; needs assessment; long-term stress; cortisol; screen time; sugary foods and beverages; fruit and vegetables energy balance-related behaviors; preschool; children; socioeconomic differences; needs assessment; long-term stress; cortisol; screen time; sugary foods and beverages; fruit and vegetables
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Lehto, E.; Ray, C.; Vepsäläinen, H.; Korkalo, L.; Lehto, R.; Kaukonen, R.; Suhonen, E.; Nislin, M.; Nissinen, K.; Skaffari, E.; Koivusilta, L.; Sajaniemi, N.; Erkkola, M.; Roos, E. Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) Study—Differences in Children’s Energy Balance-Related Behaviors (EBRBs) and in Long-Term Stress by Parental Educational Level. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2313.

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