How does the UK childcare energy-balance environment influence anthropometry of children aged 3–4 years? A cross-sectional exploration

Kathryn R. Hesketh, Sara E. Benjamin-Neelon, Esther M.F. van Sluijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives To assess the association between time spent in care, the childcare energy-balance environment, and preschool-aged children’s body mass index z-score (z-BMI), waist-to-height ratio (WHR) and sum of skinfold thickness (SST). Design Cross-sectional study. setting and participants Children aged 3–4 years were recruited from 30 childcare centres in Cambridgeshire (UK) in 2013. Main outcome measures Objectively measured height and weight was used to calculate z-BMI; waist circumference and height were used to generate WHR; subscapular and tricep skinfolds were used to calculate SST. Associations between childcare attendance, the nutrition, physical activity, and overall childcare environment, and three anthropometric outcomes were explored using two-level hierarchical regression models, adjusting for demographic and family based confounders. results Valid data were available for 196 children (49% female). Time spent in care, the nutrition, physical activity and overall childcare environment were not associated with children’s z-BMI, WHR and SST. Conclusions Childcare environment and level of attendance were not associated with UK preschool-aged children’s anthropometry. The childcare environment has been central to intervention efforts to prevent/reduce early childhood obesity, yet other factors, including child-level, family level, wider environmental and policy-level factors warrant substantial attention when considering obesity prevention strategies for young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere021520
JournalBMJ open
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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