Assessment of Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Practices in Oklahoma Child-Care Centers
ABSTRACT The purpose of the current study was to determine the obesogenic practices in all-day child-care centers caring for preschool-aged children. This study used a cross-sectional, self-reported survey mailed to centers across Oklahoma (n=314). Frequency of responses and χ(2) were calculated comparing region and star rating. Items where the majority of centers frequently report best practices include: daily fruits served (76%), daily nonfried vegetables served (71%), rarely/never served sugary drinks (92%), rarely/never used food to encourage good behaviors (88%), staff join children at table most of the time (81%), staff rarely eat different foods in view of children (69%), visible self-serve or request availability of water (93%), regular informal communication about healthy eating (86%), opportunities for outdoor play (95%), not withholding activity for punishment (91%), accessible play equipment (59% to 80% for different types of equipment), and minimization of extended sitting time (78%). Practices where centers can improve include increasing variety of vegetables (18%), reducing frequency of high-fat meats served (74% serve more than once per week), increasing high-fiber and whole-grain foods (35% offer daily), serving style of "seconds" (28% help kids determine whether they are still hungry), nonfood holiday celebrations (44% use nonfood treats), having toys and books that encourage healthy eating (27%) and physical activity (25%) in all rooms in the center, a standard nutrition (21%) and physical education (50%) curriculum, and following a written physical activity policy (43%). Practitioners can use these data to develop benchmarks and interventions, as this was the first study to assess statewide obesogenic practices in child care.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction. Interest has grown in how systems thinking could be used in obesity prevention. Relationships between key actors, represented by social networks, are an important focus for considering intervention in systems. Method. Two long day care centers were selected in which previous obesity prevention programs had been implemented. Measures showed ways in which physical activity and dietary policy are conversations and actions transacted through social networks (interrelationships) within centers, via an eight item closed-ended social network questionnaire. Questionnaire data were collected from (17/20; response rate 85%) long day care center staff. Social network density and centrality statistics were calculated, using UCINET social network software, to examine the role of networks in obesity prevention. Results. "Degree" (influence) and "betweeness" (gatekeeper) centrality measures of staff inter-relationships about physical activity, dietary, and policy information identified key players in each center. Network density was similar and high on some relationship networks in both centers but markedly different in others, suggesting that the network tool identified unique center social dynamics. These differences could potentially be the focus of future team capacity building. Conclusion. Social network analysis is a feasible and useful method to identify existing obesity prevention networks and key personnel in long day care centers.Journal of obesity 08/2013; 2013:919287. DOI:10.1155/2013/919287
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the impact on nutrition- and health-related practice of two methods of delivery of a nutrition and health intervention in Irish full-day-care pre-schools: training of pre-school managers only or training of managers and their staff. A simple randomised study with pre-schools divided into two training groups: 'manager trained' and 'manager and staff trained'. Direct observational data - food and fluid provision, physical activity, outdoor time, staff practices and availability of nutrition and health resources - were recorded during one full day spent in each pre-school both pre- and post-intervention, using a specifically developed and validated Pre-school Health Promotion Activity Scored Evaluation Form. Post-intervention, self-assessment data were also collected using the same evaluation tool. Pre-schools, Midlands of Ireland. A convenience sample of forty-two pre-schools registered with the Irish Health Service Executive. From pre- to post-intervention, significant improvement (P < 0·05) in nutrition- and health-related practice was observed within both intervention delivery groups in all areas evaluated: environment, food service, meals and snacks. No additional effect attributable to staff training was observed. Scores assigned by direct independent observation were lower than pre-school self-assessment scores. The implementation of a training intervention in pre-schools significantly improved practice with no significant benefit of additional staff training. Direct independent observation is required to quantify practice accurately.Public Health Nutrition 10/2013; DOI:10.1017/S1368980013002760 · 2.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Children day care centers should provide nutritious food and offer an environment contributing to adequate eating behaviors. Our study objective was to evaluate the food and environment of a corporate children day care with respect to recommendations. Twenty days menus were analyzed, and weighed nutritional intake were compared to recommendations. Educators’ attitudes and day care environment were evaluated by questionnaire and direct observation respectively. Menus were in accordance with recommendations and the environment was favorable. Among children aged more than 1 year, protein intake exceeded recommendations by more than 200% and sodium by 15 to 27%. Excess protein intake has been related to increased risk of obesity and sodium has been identified as a risk factor for hypertension, even among very young children. This study prompted the corporation to bring some changes to improve dietary offer.Cahiers de Nutrition et de Diététique 11/2013; 48(5):240–247. DOI:10.1016/j.cnd.2013.04.001