A child-to-child approach to promoting healthier snacking in primary school children: a randomised trial in Northern Ireland

Ruth Freeman, Grace Bunting

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aims to assess the effectiveness of a child-to-child approach to promote healthier snacking in primary school children. A total of 55 schools in North and West Belfast were matched for socio-economic status (SES). Ten schools were randomly selected and allocated into intervention and control groups. A total of 482 children took part. Older intervention children were given the “snacks facts” programme and became “teachers” in the child-to-child intervention. All children had baseline and final assessments made of their dental health knowledge (older children only), snacking knowledge and behaviours using questionnaires and rubbish bags. Older intervention children had greater increases in their mean knowledge scores compared with control children. Older intervention children had greater decreases in mean cariogenic snacking scores compared with control children. Younger children attending higher SES schools had significant decrease in mean cariogenic snacking score compared with children attending lower SES schools. Concludes that the child-to-child approach provided an avenue by which children improved their dental health knowledge and modified their snacking habits during break-time at school.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003



  • Dentists
  • Diet
  • Health promotion

Cite this