142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Latino Family Child Care Homes in Massachusetts: Assessing influence of regulatory environment and socio-cultural factors on dietary and PA practices

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ana Lindsay, MPH, DrPH , Exercise and Health sciences Department, University of Massachuetts Boston, Boston, MA
Judith Salkeld, MS , Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Faith D. Lees, MS , Rhode Island Geriatric Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

More than one-fifth (21)% of US preschool children are placed in care settings for thirty-five or more hours weekly: these represent venues for promoting healthful behaviors related to weight status. Hispanic children are at increased risk of overweight and obesity compared with the general population.  We focus on Latino Family Child Care Homes (FCCH) in Massachusetts (MA) to investigate current regulations and perceptions of providers and parents regarding nutrition and physical activity (PA).


We relied on qualitative data collection and analysis methods. Initially we identified state-level policy pertaining to nutrition and PA in pre-school care settings. Additionally, we interviewed representatives of various regulatory/training agencies associated with FCCH: this information was compiled into a regulatory practices report. We conducted focus groups with Latino family childcare providers and Latino parents of children in care.


Agencies regulating FCCH in MA have incongruent standards regarding nutrition and PA practice. Moreover, Latino FCCH providers face several challenges, including cultural perspectives of parents, in promoting healthful eating and PA habits for children in their care.


Obesity prevention among Latino pre-school children attending FCCHs could be enhanced through more coordinated regulatory policy of state agencies.  Providers would benefit from enhanced training and educational resources from regulatory agencies to raise their standard of nutrition and PA practices.  Involving parents in education and interventions would support healthful behaviors and practices followed in care settings.  It is important to understand the influence of race/ethnicity on dietary and PA behaviors to help shape effective policy and interventions.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
List some MA regulations pertaining to nutrition and PA in FCCH Compare these with national standards Describe some cultural perspectives and practices pertaining to nutrition and PA for children enrolled in Latino FCCH

Keyword(s): Caregivers, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on understanding family- and community-level ␣␣with a special focus on social and cultural determinants of lifestyle behaviors in early childhood (diet, physical activity, etc.) and risk of obesity among low-income, Latino immigrant families and children in the U.S. and Latin America.
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.