Compliance With the Healthy Eating Standards in YMCA After-School Programs

Michael W. Beets, R. Glenn Weaver, Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, Aaron Beighle, Justin B. Moore, Collin Webster, Mahmud Khan, Ruth Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective In 2011, the YMCA of the US adopted Healthy Eating standards for all of their after-school programs (ASPs). The extent to which YMCA ASPs comply with the standards is unknown. Methods Twenty ASPs from all YMCA ASPs across South Carolina (N = 102) were invited to participate. Direct observation of the food and beverages served and staff behaviors were collected on 4 nonconsecutive days per ASP. Results One ASP did not serve a snack. Of the remaining ASPs, a total of 26% served a fruit or vegetable and 32% served water every day; 26% served sugar-sweetened beverages, 47% served sugar-added foods, and only 11% served whole grains when grains were served. Staff members sat with the children (65%) or verbally promoted healthy eating (15%) on at least 1 observation day. Staff drank non-approved drinks (25%) or foods (45%) on at least 1 observation day. No ASPs served snacks family-style every day. Conclusions and Implications Additional efforts are required to assist YMCA-operated ASPs in achieving these important nutrition standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-562.e1
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award No. R01HD079422. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior


  • YMCA
  • child
  • community
  • nutrition
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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