In English

DAGIS (Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools) is a research project on Finnish preschool children (3-6 year olds). 


The main aims of the project are to produce knowledge:

  1. on children’s energy balance-related behaviours (EBRBs) and to examine socioeconomic differences in EBRBs.
  2. for promoting healthy EBRBs of children.
  3. for diminishing socioeconomic differences in children’s EBRBs.
Timetable and Methods of Study
YearStageDescription and purpose
2014-2015Planning and conducting the cross-sectional study and planning the RCTInterviews with parents and preschool personnel were conducted. These were used to gain knowledge about children’s EBRBs at home and preschool.

A pilot study was used to test questionnaires and measuring equipment planned for the cross-sectional survey.Information gained was used to adjust the study design for the cross-sectional survey.

A research protocol was developed for the randomised controlled trial (RCT), in which the objectives and stages of the RCT are described in more detail.

The cross-sectional study was conducted in 8 municipalities during 2015-2016. Altogether over 800 children and parents and 66 preschools participated in study.

After the cross-sectional study, participating parents and preschool personnel were invited to attend workshops. Workshops were used to update participants on the results of the study and to further develop methods for the intervention.
2017-2018Randomised controlled trial (RCT)A 6-month project with a randomised controlled trial was conducted. The project was based on the results of all the stages above. The intervention was conducted to attempt to improve children’s healthy EBRBs and strengthen self-regulation skills. The project was conducted in 2 municipalities and altogether 800 children and parents and 30 preschools participated in project.

Test-retest-reliability study was conducted in spring 2018. Participants of this study did not participate in the project phase.

As part of the project, an extensive evaluation of the project’s results, impact and process was carried out.
2019-Reporting of resultsCurrently, the data collected at the various stages of the study is being analyzed and articles, reports and other publications on outcome, impact and process evaluation are being written.

Scientific publications of the study are updated in the publications list. We also summarize the main findings of our results in Finnish.


The cross-sectional study and RCT were approved by the University of Helsinki Ethical Review Board in Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The ethics approval for the focus groups was obtained from the Coordinating Ethics Committee of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.


The principal investigator of the DAGIS study is researcher Eva Roos:

You can find more information of our research group here.

The study is also presented in English at Folkhälsan’s homepage.