Using a social marketing approach to develop Healthy Me, Healthy We: A nutrition and physical activity intervention in early care and education

Amber E. Vaughn, Rachel Bartlett, Courtney T. Luecking, Heidi Hennink-Kaminski, Dianne S. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Although social marketing principles have been successfully employed in school-based interventions to prevent obesity, use in early care and education (ECE) settings has been limited. This paper describes the use of the social marketing approach to develop an ECE-based intervention that encourages an ECE provider-parent partnership to improve the quality of preschool children's diets and their level of physical activity. A six-step social marketing approach for public health interventions guided the development of this ECE-based intervention. These steps were as follows: (i) initial planning, (ii) formative research, (iii) strategy development, (iv) program development, (v) implementation, and (vi) monitoring and evaluation. During this process, we reviewed current literature, conducted focus groups with ECE providers and parents, developed a detailed conceptual model and content map, created and tested the campaign concept, and developed final campaign materials along with strategies for its implementation. The final intervention resulting from this process was an 8-month campaign known as Healthy Me, Healthy We. The campaign is delivered by the child care center and includes branded materials for use in the classroom and at home. The final campaign is being evaluated in a cluster-randomized trial. Healthy Me, Healthy We offers an innovative approach to promoting healthy eating and physical activity during early childhood, a key developmental period, that leverages partnership between ECE providers and parents to affect behavior change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-681
Number of pages13
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank the following people who contributed to the development and execution of the HMHW project: Sydney Henson, Chioma Ihekweazu, Stephanie Mazzucca, Cody Neshteruk, Gina Tripicchio, Sally Scruggs, and Karoon McDowell, as well as the participating centers, providers, and families. This study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01-HL120969. This project was conducted out of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), which is a Prevention Research Center funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U48-DP005017). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The sponsor had no role in the study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data; writing of the article; or decision to publish this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society of Behavioral Medicine 2018. All rights reserved.


  • Child care
  • Diet
  • Healthy behaviors
  • Physical activity
  • Social marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Using a social marketing approach to develop Healthy Me, Healthy We: A nutrition and physical activity intervention in early care and education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this