Reducing Young Schoolchildren’s Intake of Sugar-Rich Food and Drinks: Study Protocol and Intervention Design for “Are You Too Sweet?” A Multicomponent 3.5-Month Cluster Randomised Family-Based Intervention Study

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Abstract

A high consumption of sugar-rich discretionary food and drinks has several health implications, which have been traced from childhood into adulthood. Parents act as primary mediators shaping children’s dietary habits, and interventions that engage parents have shown to result in positive outcomes. Further, collaboration with local school health nurses and dentists provides an effective structural frame to support behaviour change and anchor new initiatives. The multicomponent 3.5-month cluster randomised family-focused intervention “Are you too Sweet?” aims to evaluate the effectiveness of communicating new Danish guidelines for sugar-rich discretionary food and drinks for school starters (5–7 years). This paper describes the development, outcomes and process evaluation of the intervention that includes three main components: extended dialogue during a school health nurse consultation, a box with home-use materials, and a social media platform to facilitate interaction among participants. Children (n = 160) and their parents were scheduled for a baseline interview at six different schools. The intervention was developed to increase self-efficacy, knowledge about guidelines, observational learning and reduce impediments for behavioural change. The desired primary outcome was a reduction in intake of sugar-rich food measured through a 7-day dietary record. The results contribute to the evidence on effective health promotion strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9580
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number24
Number of pages20
ISSN1661-7827
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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