This study will evaluate nutrition and physical activity practices and policies of licensed child-care centers that enroll 3- to 5-year-old children in the three Southern states with the highest childhood obesity rates—Mississippi, Georgia, and Kentucky—and assess differences in practices and policies by geographic region (e.g., rural/urban), center characteristics (e.g., Child and Adult Care Food Program/non-Child and Adult Care Food Program participation, Head Start/non-Head Start programs), and strength of state regulations. The investigators will conduct a cross-sectional study of 342 centers (82 in Mississippi, 150 in Georgia, 110 in Kentucky). Data on the general nutrition and physical activity practices and policies of participating centers will be collected through surveys completed by the director and two preschool teachers for each center, and an independent review of center policy documents to assess the presence/absence of written policies about these practices. In addition, investigators will complete a quantitative analysis to determine whether current state regulations provide sufficient guidance on nutrition and physical activity practices in child-care centers. Findings from the project will help stakeholders better understand how child-care center practices and policies influence children’s diets and physical activity behaviors, particularly in limited-resource centers and those that serve significant numbers of children in the racial/ethnic and lower-income populations at greatest risk for obesity.
Assessing Nutrition and Physical Activity Practices and Policies of Child-Care Centers in States with the Highest Obesity Rates
Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program Is Associated with Healthier Nutrition Environments at Family Child Care Homes in Mississippi
This study describes the foods and beverages offered, nutrition practices, and nutrition policies of family child care homes in Mississippi and differences by participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). A random sample of family child care homes that enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in Mississippi were examined … More
Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time. Research Review: 2010-2016
Over the last six years, efforts to strengthen policies, systems, and environments to promote health and prevent obesity have become more robust and widespread. These efforts include updates to federal policies and programs, state regulations, local policies, and evidence-based guidance. The goal of the current research review is to provide … More
This cross-sectional study reviewed infant feeding regulations for all U.S. states for child care centers and family child care homes, then compared the regulations with ten national standards and also assessed the number of new regulations consistent with these standards since a previous review conducted in 2008. The 2008 review … More