of Obesity Prevention Standards (2010–2018)
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of Obesity Prevention Standards (2010–2018)

Filetype[PDF-612.68 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Child Obes
    • Description:

      Obesity remains a significant public health issue in the U.S. Each week, millions of infants and children are cared for in Early Care & Education (ECE) programs, making it an important setting for building healthy habits. Since 2010, thirty-nine states promulgated licensing regulations impacting infant feeding, nutrition, physical activity, or screen time practices. We assessed trends in ECE regulations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) and hypothesized that states included more obesity prevention standards over time.


      We analyzed published ratings of state licensing regulations (2010–2018) and describe trends in uptake of 47 high-impact standards derived from Caring for Our Children’s, Preventing Childhood Obesity special collection. National trends are described by 1) care type (Centers, Large Care Homes, and Small Care Homes); 2) state and U.S. region; and 3) most and least supported standards.


      Center regulations included the most obesity prevention standards (~13% in 2010 vs. ~29% in 2018) compared to other care types, and infant feeding and nutrition standards were most often included, while physical activity and screen time were least supported. Some states saw significant improvements in uptake, with six states and D.C. having a 30%-point increase 2010–2018.


      Nationally, there were consistent increases in the percentage of obesity prevention standards included in ECE licensing regulations. Future studies may examine facilitators and barriers to the uptake of obesity prevention standards and identify pathways by which public health and healthcare professionals can act as a resource and promote obesity prevention in ECE.

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