Strength of Obesity Prevention Interventions in Early Care and Education Settings: A Systematic Review
Given the high levels of obesity in young children, number of children in out-of-home care, and data suggesting a link between early care and education (ECE) participation and overweight/obesity, obesity prevention in ECE settings is critical. This systematic review covered obesity prevention interventions in center-based ECE settings published between 2010 and 2015. The goal was to identify promising intervention characteristics associated with successful behavioral and anthropometric outcomes. The review used a quality assessment tool for the studies identified, and a coding strategy was developed to assess intervention strength based on the hypothesis that more intensive interventions should yield better outcomes. The review found that 72 percent of the studies with a dietary intake measure demonstrated at least one significant impact. For studies that measured change in physical activity, fitness, or motor skills, 77 percent demonstrated at least one significant impact. Ten of the 24 studies with an anthropometric measure demonstrated at least one successful intervention effect. Relationships between intervention strength and behavioral outcomes demonstrated negative relationships for all behavioral outcomes. The review provides tentative evidence that multi-component, multi-level ECE interventions with parental engagement are most likely to be effective with anthropometric outcomes.
Child care providers are a vital part of healthy, thriving communities. Over half of children between the ages of zero and five spend significant time in non-parental child care. These early years are critical for healthy brain development and establishing the habits that last a lifetime. Laws and policies shape … More
This interactive 50-state map, developed by the Public Health Law Center, syntheses data on how state child care licensing regulations match best practices for 3- to 5-year-olds, relating to healthy eating, active play and screen time best practices. Additional maps relating to best practices for the birth to 2-year-olds plan … More
Early life diet and feeding behaviors play an important role in establishing healthy food preferences and behaviors and are crucial for preventing childhood overweight and obesity. Early Care and Education (ECE) providers are key players in the implementation of feeding and dietary guidelines targeting infants and toddlers. This issue brief … More