Policy, system, and environmental interventions addressing obesity and diet-related outcomes in early childhood education settings: A systematic review

Chelsea L. Kracht, Sarah Burkart, Emily W. Flanagan, Emily Melnick, Courtney Luecking, Cody Neshteruk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early childhood education (ECE) settings play an important role in child dietary intake and excess weight gain. Policy, systems, and environment (PSE) approaches have potential to reduce disparities in children at higher risk for obesity. The purpose of this review was to (1) characterize the inclusion of populations at higher risk for obesity in ECE interventions and (2) identify effective ECE interventions in these populations. Seven databases were searched for ECE interventions. Intervention characteristics and methodological quality were assessed in 35 articles representing 34 interventions. Interventions identified were mainly a combination of ECE and parent interventions (41%) or stand-alone ECE intervention (29%), with few multisector efforts (23%) or government regulations assessed (5%). Many included policy (70%) or social environment components (61%). For Aim 1, two thirds were conducted in primarily populations at higher risk for obesity (67%). Studies were rated as fair or good methodological quality. For Aim 2, 10 studies demonstrated effectiveness at improving diet or reducing obesity in populations at higher risk for obesity. Most included a longer intervention (i.e., >6 months), multiple PSE components, and formative work. Opportunities to incorporate more PSE components in ECE-based interventions and collaborate with parents and communities are warranted to improve child health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13547
JournalObesity Reviews
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 World Obesity Federation.

Keywords

  • childcare
  • preschool
  • young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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