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: Abstract: The study explored the associations between various childcare staff food practices and children’s dietary intake at childcare. A total of 398 one- to four-year-old children and 24 childcare staff members from 24 Dutch childcare centers participated in the study. Children’s dietary intake (fruit, vegetable, sweet snack, savory snack, water, and sweet drink intake) at childcare was registered on two weekdays, using observations by dieticians and childcare staff. Thirteen childcare staff practices were assessed using questionnaires administered by dieticians. Data were analyzed using multilevel regression analyses. Children consumed relatively much fruit and many sweet snacks at childcare, and they mainly drank sweet drinks. Various staff practices were associated with children’s dietary intake. When staff explained what they were doing to the children during food preparation, children ate significantly more fruit. Children ate less sweet snacks when they were allowed to help prepare the meals. When staff encouraged children to continue eating, they ate more vegetables. In conclusion, the study showed the importance of childcare staff food practices for children’s food intake at childcare. More research is needed to examine the specific conditions under which food practices can have a positive impact on children’s dietary intake.Nutrients 03/2015; 7(4):2161-2175. DOI:10.3390/nu7042161 · 3.15 Impact Factor
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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: Screen-viewing is one of the most common sedentary behaviors among preschoolers. Despite the high prevalence of sedentary behaviors in childcare, little research exists on the context and/or type of activities that account for these particular behaviors. Accordingly, if the amount of screen-viewing accumulated by preschoolers in childcare is not considered, researchers may be underestimating total screen time among this population, as only a portion of their day is being captured (i.e., the home environment). This systematic review provides a synthesis of research on the levels of screen-viewing among preschool-aged children (2.5-5 years) attending childcare (i.e., centre- and home-based childcare). This review also examined the correlates of screen-viewing among preschoolers in this setting. To provide additional contextual information, availability of screen activities was used to help ameliorate the understanding of preschoolers' screen-viewing behaviors in childcare.BMC Pediatrics 08/2014; 14(1):205. DOI:10.1186/1471-2431-14-205 · 1.92 Impact Factor