173541 Nutrition and physical activity environments in Los Angeles County child care: The current landscape and opportunities for policy change

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 8:30 AM

Shannon E. Whaley, PhD , PHFE-WIC Program, Irwindale, CA
Nelly M. Mallo, BA , PHFE-WIC Program, Irwindale, CA
Pilar C. Abascal, BS , California Food Policy Advocates, San Francisco, CA
Kenneth Hecht, JD , California Food Policy Advocates, San Francisco, CA
Paula James, BA , Child Health and Nutrition, Contra Costa Child Care Council, Concord, CA
Lorrene Ritchie, PhD , Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
The increasing incidence and prevalence of overweight in young children is of particular concern to the public health community. A growing number of studies are demonstrating that the preschool ages are particularly critical in obesity prevention. Age of onset of overweight has emerged as a key risk factor in obesity: overweight preschoolers are more likely than normal-weight preschoolers to become obese adults. Each working day, over 250,000 infants and children ages 0-5 in California's Los Angeles County spend most of their waking day and consume most of their nutrition in licensed out-of-home childcare or preschool, making these facilities an essential environment to include in the county's early childhood overweight prevention efforts. This study examines the effect of the type of child care facility (Head Start, State Preschool, Center-based, or Family Child Care Home) and the facility's participation in the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) on the nutrition quality of meals served, observed mealtime behaviors and physical activity environments. Data from quantitative and qualitative surveys collected through meal observations in child care facilities, interviews with key informants and a stakeholders convening will be presented. Findings will be translated into a list of specific policy recommendations targeted to the needs of Los Angeles County.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the existing nutritional environment in Los Angeles licensed child care. 2. Identify the key indicators of superior and inferior nutrition and physical activity in licensed child care. 3. Recognize the need for specific policy changes to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments in licensed child care.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have developed and executed the work to be presented and have no financial interest with any commercial entity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.