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Research aims to prevent obesity by reaching parents, young children through child care
Date:11/16/2011

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- A Kansas State University research group is jumping ahead to improve nutrition and physical activity among young children and prevent childhood obesity.

The researchers -- led by David Dzewaltowski, professor and kinesiology department head -- have developed a program called HOP'N Home, which stands for Healthy Opportunities for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Home. The researchers have been working on obesity prevention for more than 15 years. The latest segment of the program partners with the Butler County Health Department and K-State Research and Extension to reach 3- to 5-year-olds and their parents through activities conducted at child care facilities.

"Our research has moved to younger and younger age groups because we have found through the public health literature and surveillance that you need to start as young as possible," Dzewaltowski said.

The project works with child care centers to build the capacity of staff to help children and their parents offer more physical activity and more nutritious food options as well as understand the impact of advertising on their food and physical activity choices. The project has been supported by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund.

The project is divided into four phases. The first phase evaluated a 12-week program with the university's Stone House Early Childhood Education Center. The second phase occurred last spring, when the researchers partnered with Butler County Research and Extension to work with four child care providers.

The researchers are currently in the third phase of the project and are working with the Butler County Health Department to develop a training model that helps child care providers deliver the 12-week program. For the final phase, the researchers will partner with agencies such as Child Care Aware of Kansas to make the training model available to child care providers statewide.

"We've done rigorous evalu
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Contact: David Dzewaltowski
dadx@k-state.edu
785-532-7795
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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