Group Roos & Ray

DAGIS – Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools

The DAGIS project focuses on preschool children’s energy balance-related behaviours (EBRB) and stress and how they are influenced by factors at preschool and at home. A large survey was conducted in preschools in 2015-2016 and an intervention to improve health started in in autumn 2017.

DAGIS (Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools) is a consortium study focusing on energy balance-related behaviours (EBRB) and stress regulation in Finnish preschool children (3-6 year olds). DAGIS is especially interested in fruit and vegetable intake, intake of sugar-enriched foods, physical activity, sedentary behaviours, and stress regulation. DAGIS aims to use preschool as a health promoting setting to improve EBRBs and to decrease differences among children in these behaviours. The project consists of two phases, the first phase, a needs assessment, included a cross-sectional survey (2015-2016) where data on energy balance-related behaviours (EBRBs: sedentary and dietary behaviours, physical activity, sleep habits) and stress response regulation in Finnish 3-6-year-old preschool children and data on home and preschool environment were collected. The second phase consists of a 6 month preschool randomised controlled trial, which will be conducted in 2017-2018. The intervention program is based on the results from the needs assessment. The intervention is conducted to attempt to improve children’s EBRBs and to decrease differences in EBRBs. The consortium includes also research groups at University of Helsinki, led by Maijaliisa Erkkola and Nina Sajaniemi. DAGIS (Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools).

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Group Leader

Eva Roos, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Docent

Post-Doctoral Scientists

Carola Ray, PhD

Graduate Students

Reetta Lehto, MNutrSc

Suvi Määttä, MSportsSc, MSocSc


Pauliina Hiltunen, BHSc

Riikka Kaukonen, MNutr

Marja Leppänen 

S Määttä, R Kaukonen, H Vepsäläinen, E Lehto, A Ylönen, C Ray, M Erkkola & E Roos. The mediating role of the home environment in relation to parental educational level and preschool children’s screen time: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2017. 17: 688. doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4694-9

C Ray, S Määttä, R Lehto, R Kaukonen, N Sajaniemi, M Erkkola, E Roos: Developing an intervention to diminish socioeconomic differences in health behaviors in preschool: Eva Roos. The European Journal of Public Health 11/2016; 26(suppl_1)., DOI:10.1093/eurpub/ckw174.195

H Vepsäläinen, L Korkalo, V Mikkilä, K Nissinen, E Skaffari, R Lehto, Carola Ray, N Sajaniemi, E Roos, M Erkkola: Dietary patterns among Finnish preschool children and their parents: Henna Vepsäläinen. The European Journal of Public Health 11/2016; 26(suppl_1)., DOI:10.1093/eurpub/ckw171.018

C Ray, S Määttä, G Roos, E Roos:Vanhempien käsityksiä päiväkoti-ikäisten lasten kasvisten, hedelmien ja sokeri- pitoisten elintarvikkeiden syömiseen vaikuttavista tekijöistä. Journal of Early Childhood Education Research 05/2016; 5(1):115-135.

C Ray, S Määttä, R Lehto, G Roos, E Roos: Influencing factors of children's fruit, vegetable and sugar-enriched food intake in a Finnish preschool setting – Preschool personnel's perceptions. Appetite 03/2016; 103., DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2016.03.020

R Lehto, S Määttä, C Ray, E Roos: Planning a preschool intervention in Finland – how to use digital technologies to increase community spirit and promote healthy energy balance-related behaviours?. Frontiers in Public Health 01/2016; 4., DOI:10.3389/conf.FPUBH.2016.01.00094

S Määttä, R Lehto, E Roos: User experiences of wearable activity monitor among 3-6-year-old preschool children – Are children willing to wear monitor 7 days 24 hours per day?. Frontiers in Public Health 01/2016; 4., DOI:10.3389/conf.FPUBH.2016.01.00061

S Määttä, C Ray, G Roos, E Roos: Applying a Socioecological Model to Understand Preschool Children’s Sedentary Behaviors from the Viewpoints of Parents and Preschool Personnel. Early Childhood Education Journal 09/2015; 44(5)., DOI:10.1007/s10643-015-0737-y

S Määttä, R Lehto, M Nislin, C Ray, M Erkkola, N Sajaniemi, E Roos: Increased health and well-being in preschools (DAGIS): Rationale and design for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health 04/2015; 15(1):402., DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1744-z

Samfundet Folkhälsan

Academy of Finland

Ministry of Education and Culture

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation

Juho Vainio Foundation

Medicinska Understödsföreningen Liv och Hälsa

Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation

University of Helsinki, Chancellor´s Travel Grant

Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation

Maijaliisa Erkkola, University of Helsinki

Nina Sajaniemi, University of Helsinki


    • Eva Roos

      PhD, Docent in Nutrition, Group Leader

    • Tel:
      +358 50 407 6382

    • Contact
    • Carola Ray

      PhD, teamleader

    • Tel:
      +358 50 370 5193

    • Contact