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Open AccessArticle

Effects of the Preschool-Based Family-Involving DAGIS Intervention Program on Children’s Energy Balance-Related Behaviors and Self-Regulation Skills: A Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial

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Folkhälsan Research Center, Topeliuksenkatu 20, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland
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Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Clinicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, FI-00100 Helsinki, Finland
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School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland
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Department of Public Health, Clinicum, P.O. Box 63, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2599; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092599
Received: 25 June 2020 / Revised: 19 August 2020 / Accepted: 24 August 2020 / Published: 26 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Obesity and Nutrition Promotion Intervention)
The study examines the effects of a preschool-based family-involving multicomponent intervention on children’s energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs) such as food consumption, screen time and physical activity (PA), and self-regulation (SR) skills, and whether the intervention effects differed among children with low or high parental educational level (PEL) backgrounds. The Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) intervention was conducted as a clustered randomized controlled trial, clustered at preschool level, over five months in 2017–2018. Altogether, 802 children aged 3–6 years in age participated. Parents reported children’s consumption of sugary everyday foods and beverages, sugary treats, fruits, and vegetables by a food frequency questionnaire, and screen time by a 7-day diary. Physical activity was assessed by a hip-worn accelerometer. Cognitive and emotional SR was reported in a questionnaire by parents. General linear mixed models with and without repeated measures were used as statistical methods. At follow-up, no differences were detected in EBRBs or SR skills between the intervention and control group, nor did differences emerge in children’s EBRBs between the intervention and the control groups when stratified by PEL. The improvement in cognitive SR skills among low PEL intervention children differed from low PEL control children, the significance being borderline. The DAGIS multicomponent intervention did not significantly affect children’s EBRBs or SR. Further sub-analyses and a comprehensive process evaluation may shed light on the non-significant findings. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy balance-related behaviors; self-regulation skills; preschoolers; children; randomized controlled trial; intervention effects; parental educational level; intervention mapping; multicomponent intervention energy balance-related behaviors; self-regulation skills; preschoolers; children; randomized controlled trial; intervention effects; parental educational level; intervention mapping; multicomponent intervention
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Ray, C.; Figuereido, R.; Vepsäläinen, H.; Lehto, R.; Pajulahti, R.; Skaffari, E.; Sainio, T.; Hiltunen, P.; Lehto, E.; Korkalo, L.; Sääksjärvi, K.; Sajaniemi, N.; Erkkola, M.; Roos, E. Effects of the Preschool-Based Family-Involving DAGIS Intervention Program on Children’s Energy Balance-Related Behaviors and Self-Regulation Skills: A Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2599.

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