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Open AccessReview

Characteristics of Effective Interventions Promoting Healthy Eating for Pre-Schoolers in Childcare Settings: An Umbrella Review

1
College Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
2
School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(3), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10030293
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Solutions for a Changing World)
Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings have a pivotal role in shaping children’s dietary food habits by providing the contextual environment within which they develop these behaviours. This study examines systematic reviews for (1) the effectiveness of interventions to promote healthy eating in children aged 2–5 years attending centre-based childcare; (2) intervention characteristics which are associated with promoting healthy eating and; (3) recommendations for child-health policies and practices. An Umbrella review of systematic reviews was undertaken using a standardized search strategy in ten databases. Twelve systematic reviews were examined using validated critical appraisal and data extraction tools. Children’s dietary food intake and food choices were significantly influenced. Interventions to prevent obesity did not significantly change children’s anthropometric measures or had mixed results. Evidence was more convincing if interventions were multi-component, addressed physical activity and diet, targeted individual-level and environmental-level determinants and engaged parents. Positive outcomes were mostly facilitated by researchers/external experts and these results were not replicated when implemented in centres by ECEC providers without this support. The translation of expert-led interventions into practice warrants further exploration of implementation drivers and barriers. Based on the evidence reviewed, recommendations are made to inform child-health directed practices and policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary intake; healthy diet; pre-schooler; obesity prevention; social-ecological model; review dietary intake; healthy diet; pre-schooler; obesity prevention; social-ecological model; review
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Matwiejczyk, L.; Mehta, K.; Scott, J.; Tonkin, E.; Coveney, J. Characteristics of Effective Interventions Promoting Healthy Eating for Pre-Schoolers in Childcare Settings: An Umbrella Review. Nutrients 2018, 10, 293.

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  • Supplementary File 1:

    Supplementary (ZIP, 1712 KB)

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.6084/m9.figshare.5765328
    Link: https://figshare.com/s/378ec4b6111941712217
    Description: Supplementary Materials: The following are available online at https://figshare.com/s/378ec4b6111941712217 Table S1: Record of search strategies: Table S2: Critical appraisal results for the included reviews: Table S3: Characteristics of included systematic reviews: Table S4 Summary of the evidence from selected reviews: Figure S1: PRISMA flowchart of the selection process for systematic reviews.
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