Using State Laws & Regulations to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Afterschool Programs
Out-of-School time (OST) programs are a promising setting for reducing child obesity risk by promoting healthy eating and providing opportunities for physical activity. The Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition developed the National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards in 2011 to provide comprehensive guidance on how to promote healthy eating and physical activity. To date most efforts to adopt these standards have been voluntary, but state or local laws present one option to increase awareness, uptake, and implementation of the standards. This report focuses on the potential benefits and unintended consequences of state policies specifically focused on OST programs. The report summarizes key informant interviews and case studies of California and North Carolina, two states with experience translating healthy OST guidelines into state policy. Policy recommendations and questions for future research are also presented. The report concludes that state policy approaches have the potential to result in faster, more equitable, and more thorough improvements to healthy eating and physical activity in OST settings, though experts noted that initial forays into state policy approaches should be voluntary and policy approaches should evolve as knowledge becomes available through experience.
The purpose of this project is to examine the use of state policy approaches to promote the implementation of the National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (NAA HEPA) standards. The research team will build a conceptual framework, elicit expert opinion on state policy approaches, analyze real-world experiences using … 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
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