Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Getting a 'Head Start' on obesity prevention

Date:
December 7, 2009
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
A survey finds that the early childhood education program goes above and beyond federal requirements for diet and exercise for a population that's at high risk for childhood obesity.

Almost 1 million preschool children from low-income families are enrolled in Head Start, a national program for young children that readies them for school. While the program provides them with educational and social skill enhancement, a study authored by Temple University researchers finds that it also goes above and beyond the current federal recommendations for promoting healthy eating and exercise habits among this group of children who are at high risk for obesity.

Related Articles


For the study, published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, researchers surveyed all Head Start programs in the country about practices related to healthy eating and physical activity.

Across the 1583 Head Start programs surveyed, researchers found:

  • Seventy percent of programs were serving only non-fat or 1 percent milk, and 59 percent never served chocolate milk.
  • Three-quarters of programs reported having children participate in at least 30 minutes of adult-led physical activity per day.
  • Ninety-four percent of programs reported serving some vegetable every day, other than French fries.
  • Ninety-seven percent reported serving some fruit every day, other than 100% fruit juice.
  • More than half (56 percent) provided children with at least 60 minutes each day of unstructured physical activity in addition to the 30 minutes of adult-led physical activity.

"The obesity epidemic has reached even the youngest children, and many Head Start programs say they are trying to address this problem with practices that go beyond what is required by federal regulation," said Robert Whitaker, the lead author of the study. "Some of these regulations might need to be updated, but we still know very little about what challenges programs are facing when they try to put obesity prevention practices in place and maintain them."

In addition, he says new guidelines could help prevent obesity in children outside Head Start as well.

"Early childhood education and childcare programs throughout the nation have traditionally looked to the Head Start regulations to set their own standards," said Whitaker, a professor of pediatrics and public health at the Center for Obesity Research and Education.

Other authors on this study are Rachel A. Gooze and Cayce C. Hughes of Temple University, and Daniel M. Finkelstein of Mathematica Policy Research. Funding was provided by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and was carried out in partnership with the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Temple University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "Getting a 'Head Start' on obesity prevention." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207165027.htm>.
Temple University. (2009, December 7). Getting a 'Head Start' on obesity prevention. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207165027.htm
Temple University. "Getting a 'Head Start' on obesity prevention." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207165027.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins