In English

DAGIS (Increased Health and Wellbeing in Early Education and School Children) is a research project on Finnish preschool and school children.


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.
Reporting of resultsData collected at the various stages of the study was analyzed and articles, reports and other publications on outcome, impact and process evaluation were published.
2023-2024DAGIS Next
follow-up study
Participants in the DAGIS survey study in 2015-2016 will be followed up to investigate the relationship between circadian rhythms, eating, sleeping and adiposity among the now 11-14-year-old adolescents. The relationship between early childhood diet and allergies and asthma will also be investigated in the same study.
2023-2024DAGIS Salo
follow-up study
Participants in the DAGIS preschool intervention in 2017-2018 will also be followed up to identify past and present environmental and individual factors linked to health behaviours, self-regulation and learning among schoolchildren. The DAGIS Salo follow-up study will begin in autumn 2023 and the now 8-12-year-old schoolchildren in Salo municipality will be invited to participate in the study.

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, RCT and DAGIS Next follow-up study 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. You can read the data protection statement for the DAGIS project here.


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.