Prior research evaluating children’s diets and physical activity report the need for improvements to ensure their daily nutrition and activity needs are met while in child-care settings. Limited research has examined nutrition and physical activity policies of child-care programs. This study will evaluate the quality of these policies in relation to observed practices, staff awareness of policies, and strategies for implementing and enforcing policies at child-care centers. The specific aims of this study are to: 1) evaluate the presence/absence of nutrition, physical activity, and screen time policies related to childhood obesity prevention in child-care centers, and the extent to which formal policy statements address these practices; 2) evaluate nutrition, physical activity and screen time practices in relation to center-level policies; and 3) assess staff’s awareness of policies and center-level strategies for implementing and enforcing policies. Crosssectional data will be collected from 50 licensed child-care centers in North Carolina that enroll preschool-aged children, including Head Start and other centers serving predominantly ethnic minorities and lower-income children. Investigators will conduct interviews with center directors, administer surveys to preschool classroom teachers, review center policy documents and conduct direct observations of center practices. Findings will help researchers better understand the role of policy in child-care practice, and guide the development and implementation of new policies to prevent childhood obesity.
Evaluating the Quality of Child-Care Nutrition, Physical Activity and Screen-Time Practices to Inform Policies to Prevent Childhood Obesity
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
Toddler drinks are a relatively new product category, typically offered by infant formula manufacturers and promoted as beneficial for young children ages 12 months and older. Marketing promotes these drinks as the “next step” after infant formula, using claims that imply unproven benefits for children’s nutrition and health. However, these drinks … More