Evaluating a child care-based social marketing approach for improving children's diet and physical activity: Results from the Healthy Me, Healthy We cluster-randomized controlled trial

Amber E. Vaughn, Heidi Hennink-Kaminski, Renee Moore, Regan Burney, Jesse L. Chittams, Portia Parker, Courtney T. Luecking, Derek Hales, Dianne S. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Child care-based interventions offer an opportunity to reach children at a young and impressionable age to support healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. Ideally, these interventions engage caregivers, including both childcare providers and parents, in united effort. This study evaluated the impact of the Healthy Me, Healthy We intervention on children's diet quality and physical activity. A sample of 853 three- to four-year-old children from 92 childcare centers were enrolled in this cluster-randomized control trial. Healthy Me, Healthy We was an 8-month, social marketing intervention delivered through childcare that encouraged caregivers (childcare providers and parents) to use practices that supported children's healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. Outcome measures, collected at baseline and post-intervention, assessed children's diet quality, physical activity, and BMI as well as caregivers' feeding and physical activity practices. Generalized Linear Mixed Models were used to assess change from baseline to post-intervention between intervention and control arms. No significant changes were noted in any of the outcome measures except for small improvements in children's sodium intake and select parent practices. Despite the negative findings, this study offers many lessons about the importance and challenges of effective parent engagement which is critical for meaningful changes in children's health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-784
Number of pages10
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute [R01HL120969]. Support was also received from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [U48DP005017] and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [P30DK056350].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Society of Behavioral Medicine. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Early care and education
  • Feeding practices
  • Intervention
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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