Program Practices: An Investigation of Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Standards and Practices on Out-of-School-Time Programs
In the US, 6.5 million children attend out-of-school time (OST) programs annually, participating in roughly three hours per day of activities typically including homework, snack and gross motor play. The specific aims of this study are to: (1) build capacity for obesity prevention in OST by infusing rigorous science-based guidelines into the National Afterschool Association standards for physical activity and healthy eating; (2) identify current physical activity and eating standards and program practices used in a targeted national sample of OST programs; (3) identify significant associations between best practices and program characteristics, components and social contextual variables; (4) disseminate information on effective implementation of standards; and (5) lay the groundwork for a subsequent project to re-assess the program cohort and develop a toolkit to help all OST programs implement the recommended standards for physical activity and healthy eating. This is a mixed-methods study using quantitative and qualitative methods. Data will be collected in ten regions of the US, representing a mix of geographic locations, urban/suburban/rural communities, school district sizes and variety of OST programs. The survey sample will include 80-100 programs within each region (500+ total) and exemplary program observations at 30 of these programs.
This paper describes the development of voluntary healthy eating and physical activity quality standards (HEPAQS) for out-of-school time programs. The final HEPAQS were developed using a national, mixed-methods needs assessment, review of existing standards and expert recommendations, and a participatory process of discussion, review, and consensus engaging 19 service and … More
This paper discusses the results of a qualitative study which explored childhood obesity and healthy eating concepts among out-of-school time program administrators. Researchers found that while program administrators were concerned about childhood obesity, they identified four main barriers to serving healthy foods: food procurement, budget, staff issues, and facilities. They … More
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More