205615 Measuring and Promoting Water as the Primary Beverage within Afterschool Programs

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:10 PM

Rebekka M. Lee, BA , Prevention Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Steve Gortmaker, PhD , Prevention Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Rebecca Mozaffarian, MS, MPH , Prevention Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jean Wiecha, PhD , Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, U Mass Boston, Boston, MA
Background: Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption contributes to childhood obesity in the US. The YMCA-Harvard Afterschool Evaluation aims to improve children's nutrition and physical activity through environmental change within afterschool programs. One of six nutrition standards is to serve water as a primary beverage everyday and to eliminate SSB. We assessed water serving practices in 30 afterschool sites in 4 regions of the US and water consumption of children within these programs.

Methodology: Data on water were collected at the environmental and individual level. Sites submitted monthly snack menus and site observations were made at over half of the programs. Site directors' interviews documented implementation. Child consumption data were collected through parent/child diaries pre and post and in a validation sub-study.

Results: Menu analyses indicate 6 intervention and 6 control sites served water everyday at baseline. An additional 4 intervention and 1 control sites served water daily by follow-up. Site observations validated to menu data (r=0.74, p<0.01). Child observations indicate children took water when it was served to them 57% of the time; of these, 83% drank all or most of what they were served. Further analyses are examining potential barriers to implementation of this environmental change and evidence for change in children's daily water and SSB consumption.

Discussion: Our findings indicate the promise of simple environmental and policy changes to promote water consumption in afterschool settings and future obesity prevention efforts.

Learning Objectives:
Describe environmental and policy change efforts to promote water consumption among children within the afterschool setting. Evaluate multiple measures of water consumption at the environmental and individual level. Assess water availability, consumption, and the evidence for change in children’s daily water and SSB consumption.

Keywords: Water, Intervention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been evaluating the impact of the YMCA-Harvard Afterschool Evaluation at the Harvard Prevention Research Center for the past 3 years. I am also a masters candidate focusing much of my research on nutritional environmental and policy change.
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.