The preschool period is a critical time for growth and development, and healthy eating at this age can help prevent later obesity. Despite the large number of children attending center-based child care, current state policies to combat obesity in child care are inadequate. South Carolina is on the verge of implementing new mandatory nutrition standards for child-care programs that serve lower-income children. The new standards will affect centers that participate in the ABC Child Care Program, which provides subsidized child care to families with incomes below 150% of the federal poverty level. This project will support a rigorous evaluation of South Carolina’s new statewide standards to promote healthy eating in child care settings employing a quasi-experimental two-group pretest/post-test design, with North Carolina serving as the comparison state. Investigators will measure the healthy eating environments in a total of 60 centers using a researcher-administered one-day assessment, and will also assess dietary intake using direct observation among a sub-sample of children ages 3 to 5 in these centers. Assessments will be conducted both shortly before and nine months after the new standards take effect. In addition, investigators will assess the adoption and implementation of the new standards via a mailed survey to 1,000 child-care centers.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mandatory State Nutrition Standards for Child-Care Programs
In April 2012, South Carolina enacted 13 nutrition standards for child-care centers serving lower-income children throughout the state. This study evaluated consistency with the standards before and after the policy took effect using North Carolina, a state not making policy changes, as the comparison. Researchers recorded foods and beverages served … More
The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides critical nutrition assistance to lower-income women, infants, and young children. During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen to levels greater than experienced during the Great Recession, and food insecurity has also increased, making WIC’s role more important … More
Determining eLearning Preferences to Inform Beverage Policy Training for Early Care and Education Teachers
This study aimed to determine the eLearning preferences of early care and education (ECE) teachers for an effective beverage policy training. This was a mixed methods study conducted with ECE directors and teachers in 6 regions throughout Georgia. Researchers used an eLearning survey (n = 646) along with focus groups … More