Thanks to a new NIH grant, PEEP will be part of a new project with researchers at the Hood Center for Children and Families at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. “Entertainment characters are often used to effectively market low-nutrient foods to young children,” said Meghan Longacre, principal investigator for the study and Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics at Geisel School of Medicine and a member of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. “Our intervention uses this established marketing tactic—linking persuasive messaging with children’s favorite characters—to create building blocks for healthy nutrition and physical activity.”
The 12-week intervention targets settings where 3-5 year old children spend most time– home and child care—and will be tested in private daycare centers, a public preschool, and a HeadStart program. Parents will be invited to use the curriculum at home, and surveys and classroom observations will measure receptiveness and the feasibility of implementing the program. Ongoing teacher and parent support will include a website, hosted by WGBH, with movement-based games and teaching activities.