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Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 456; doi:10.3390/nu9050456

Under 5 Energize: Tracking Progress of a Preschool Nutrition and Physical Activity Programme with Regional Measures of Body Size and Dental Health at Age of Four Years

1
Child Health Research, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 0640, New Zealand
2
Sport Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
3
Kinesiology Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0386, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [205 KB, uploaded 4 May 2017]

Abstract

To reduce weight gain and encourage healthy eating including reduced sugar intake, Under 5 Energize (U5E) was introduced to 121 early-childhood-centres in the Waikato region of New Zealand in July 2013. Using anonymized data collected from January 2013 to September 2016 through free physical assessments of all 4-year-olds provided by the NZ Ministry of Health, the prevalence of obesity and dental decay children measured in the Waikato region was examined. Data were divided into four periods representing pre-implementation and 3 years of gradual implementation. Obesity was defined according to International Obesity Task Force criteria. Of 18,774 Waikato children included in the analysis, 32% were indigenous Māori, and 32% attended an U5E centre. Pre-implementation prevalences of obesity (4%) and visible dental decay (11%) of children attending and not-attending U5E centres were not different. While obesity prevalence did not change significantly over time, prevalence of dental decay decreased among children at U5E (trend p = 0.003) but not non-U5E (trend p = 0.14) centres, such that prevalences were significantly different between children at U5E vs. non-U5E centres at Year 3 (p = 0.02). The U5E intervention is a small but arguably effective part of the wider system approach that is required to improve children’s future health. View Full-Text
Keywords: body mass index; growth; nutrition; dental decay; early childhood education centres; indigenous children body mass index; growth; nutrition; dental decay; early childhood education centres; indigenous children
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rush, E.; Obolonkin, V.; Young, L.; Kirk, M.; Tseng, M. Under 5 Energize: Tracking Progress of a Preschool Nutrition and Physical Activity Programme with Regional Measures of Body Size and Dental Health at Age of Four Years. Nutrients 2017, 9, 456.

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