Special Issue "Child Nutrition Management"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ethan Bergman
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health Sciences, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA, USA
Interests: pediatric nutrition; school feeding programs; hunger and food security; interprofessional education
Dr. Nicole Stendell-Hollis

Guest Editor
Department of Health Sciences, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA, USA
Interests: obesity prevention in youth; school feeding programs; hunger and food security; corporate wellness programs; primary and secondary prevention of breast cancer

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Child Nutrition Management” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

It is important to understand the factors (e.g., school meal programs, physical activity, diet, social media use, and environment) that contribute to child nutrition and health and the mediators and moderators of these relationships. Prospective articles could include programing and projects that are intended to improve and enhance nutrition and health for the benefit of children. Thus, research into these and related areas should focus on methods of improving the nutrition and health of children.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to the management of child nutrition. The listed keywords suggest a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Ethan Bergman
Dr. Nicole Stendell-Hollis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nutrition
  • School Feeding Programs
  • Children
  • Data driven decisions
  • School nutrition success
  • Dietary guidelines
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Healthy Eating Index
  • Physical activity
  • Social support
  • Cross-cultural
  • Public health
  • Health geography
  • Quality of life
  • Wellbeing
  • Internet use
  • Diet
  • Mental health
  • Physical health

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Food Trying and Liking Related to Grade Level and Meal Participation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5641; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165641 - 05 Aug 2020
Abstract
School-based child nutrition programs provide students with meals and snacks that align with guidelines for a healthy eating pattern. However, participation is not universal, and research on the determinants of food selection is needed to improve school nutrition practices and policies. The purpose [...] Read more.
School-based child nutrition programs provide students with meals and snacks that align with guidelines for a healthy eating pattern. However, participation is not universal, and research on the determinants of food selection is needed to improve school nutrition practices and policies. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between grade level (i.e., grade school, middle school, or high school) as well as meal participation category (i.e., only breakfast, only lunch, or both) and food trying and liking in a large urban school district. Outcomes were measured using an online survey completed by students from 2nd through 12th grade (n = 21,540). Breakfast and lunch item liking scores were higher among the grade school and middle school students than among the high school students. Breakfast and lunch liking scores were also higher among those who participated in both breakfast and lunch as opposed to those who only participated in one meal. Food item liking scores were positively correlated with the percentage of students who had tried the particular foods (r = 0.52, p < 0.001), and the number of foods tried was dependent on both grade level and meal participation category (F(4, 21,531) = 10.994, p < 0.001). In this survey of students, both grade level and meal participation category were found to be related to the liking of foods, while foods that were tried more often tended to be liked more. Future studies should consider grade level and meal participation when exploring student preferences. School nutrition programs should also consider these factors when assessing satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Incorporating an Increase in Plant-Based Food Choices into a Model of Culturally Responsive Care for Hispanic/Latino Children and Adults Who Are Overweight/Obese
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4849; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134849 - 06 Jul 2020
Abstract
Introduction: The national rate of obesity in US Hispanic/Latinos exceeds all other major ethnic subgroups and represents an important health disparity. Plant-based diet interventions that emphasize whole plant foods with minimal processing and less refined grains and sugar have shown have shown great [...] Read more.
Introduction: The national rate of obesity in US Hispanic/Latinos exceeds all other major ethnic subgroups and represents an important health disparity. Plant-based diet interventions that emphasize whole plant foods with minimal processing and less refined grains and sugar have shown have shown great promise in control of obesity, but there is a paucity of data translating this treatment effect to disparate populations. The objective of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of the Healthy Eating Lifestyle Program (HELP) for accomplishing weight management in a hospital-based, family centered, culturally tailored, plant-based diet intervention for Hispanic/Latino children who were overweight or obese. Methods: Our mixed methods evaluation included: (1) A one arm study to measure changes in body mass index (BMI) from pre- to post-intervention, and (2) A stakeholder analysis of the program staff. Results: For children ages 5–12 years who were overweight/obese, we found no evidence of excess weight gain evidenced by BMI Z scores (Zpost-pre = −0.02, p = 0.11). Among the parent/guardians who were overweight or obese, we found a decrease in BMI that was stronger in men (BMI post-pre = −0.75 kg/m2, p = 0.01) than in women (BMI post-pre = −0.12 kg/m2, p = 0.30). A program strength was the cultural tailoring of the plant-based diet choices. Conclusions: The evaluation raises the possibility that incorporating intervention components of HELP (plant-based food choices, family-based, cultural tailoring) into pediatric weight management can improve the standard of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
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Open AccessArticle
The Advertising Policies of Major Social Media Platforms Overlook the Imperative to Restrict the Exposure of Children and Adolescents to the Promotion of Unhealthy Foods and Beverages
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114172 - 11 Jun 2020
Abstract
There have been global calls to action to protect children (aged <18) from exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages (‘unhealthy foods’). In this context, the rising popularity of social media, particularly amongst adolescents, represents an important focus area. This study [...] Read more.
There have been global calls to action to protect children (aged <18) from exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages (‘unhealthy foods’). In this context, the rising popularity of social media, particularly amongst adolescents, represents an important focus area. This study aimed to examine the advertising policies of major global social media platforms related to the advertising of unhealthy foods, and to identify opportunities for social media platforms to take action. We conducted a desk-based review of the advertising policies of the 16 largest social media platforms globally. We examined their publicly available advertising policies related to food and obesity, as well as in relation to other areas impacting public health. The advertising policies for 12 of the selected social media platforms were located. None of these platforms adopted comprehensive restrictions on the advertising of unhealthy foods, with only two platforms having relevant (but very limited) policies in the area. In comparison, 11 of the 12 social media platforms had policies restricting the advertising of alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and/or weight loss. There is, therefore, an opportunity for major social media platforms to voluntarily restrict the exposure of children to the marketing of unhealthy foods, which can contribute to efforts to improve populations’ diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
Open AccessArticle
Teachers’ Perceptions and Understanding of Children’s Fluid Intake
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114050 - 05 Jun 2020
Abstract
No public health data exists on elementary teachers’ perceptions of both their own fluid intake and of their elementary school aged children’s fluid intake. A total of 271 (20 males, 251 females) teachers in developed areas of Australia, Belgium, England, Ireland, United Arab [...] Read more.
No public health data exists on elementary teachers’ perceptions of both their own fluid intake and of their elementary school aged children’s fluid intake. A total of 271 (20 males, 251 females) teachers in developed areas of Australia, Belgium, England, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America completed an online questionnaire (Feb–Mar 2019) on: (i) their fluid intake, (ii) their perception and understanding of children’s fluid intake and (iii) barriers in the school day that they felt prevented school children consuming fluids. Overall, the data indicated that teachers consume considerably lower amounts than recommended themselves, but have a good awareness of children’s fluid intake and estimate children drink approximately half (1 litre (34% n = 93)) of what is recommended per day. The results were also similar to those reported by children previously. Yet, the data highlighted a lack of active encouragement of drinking water throughout the school day by teachers, with only 11% (n = 29) suggesting they actively encourage children to drink and 45% (n = 123) reporting no active encouragement at all. It is recommended as a public health measure that all school children consume an extra cup of water during lunch times in those schools where water intake was recognized as sub optimal. Furthermore, depending on weather conditions, a cup of water before, during and after Physical Education lessons should be encouraged by teachers. Water coolers or bottles may be used as a supplementary resource, provided that hygiene is maintained. From an educational perspective, more professional development needs to be provided to teachers on the importance of regular water consumption, and more time dedicated across the elementary curriculum to educational understanding of fluid consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of a Multi-Component School Lunch Environmental Change Intervention to Improve Child Fruit and Vegetable Intake: A Mixed-Methods Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3971; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113971 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Nudge interventions are widely used to promote health in schools, yet implementation metrics are seldom used to understand intervention outcomes. A multi-component intervention consisting of cafeteria decorations, creative names, social norming taste tests, and flavor station components was implemented in three rural elementary [...] Read more.
Nudge interventions are widely used to promote health in schools, yet implementation metrics are seldom used to understand intervention outcomes. A multi-component intervention consisting of cafeteria decorations, creative names, social norming taste tests, and flavor station components was implemented in three rural elementary school cafeterias by school nutrition services (SNS) and extension staff. Selection and consumption of fruits and vegetables at lunch were measured through monthly plate waste assessments over eight months (n = 1255 trays). Interviews were conducted with SNS staff (n = 3) upon completion of the intervention to assess implementation outcomes using validated acceptability and feasibility metrics. Consumption findings were generally inconsistent across schools and time points, yet fruit consumption increased at School 1 (p < 0.05) during the taste test and flavor station intervention months and School 2 (p < 0.001) during the creative names intervention months compared to baseline. Odds of selecting a vegetable at School 3 were three times higher than baseline during the taste test intervention months (odds ratio (OR), 3.0; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.3–6.5). Cafeteria decorations and taste tests had higher reported implementation metrics for acceptability and feasibility than other interventions. Thematic analysis underscored the facilitating role of extension support, as well as systems factors, which served as facilitators and barriers across schools and interventions. These findings suggest that nudge interventions are a promising strategy to improve vegetable selection and fruit consumption in school meal programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Open Campus Policies: How Built, Food, Social, and Organizational Environments Matter for Oregon’s Public High School Students’ Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020469 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
Open campus policies that grant access to the off-campus food environment may influence U.S. high school students’ exposure to unhealthy foods, yet predictors of these policies are unknown. Policy holding and built (walkability), food (access to grocery stores), social (school-to-neighborhood demographic similarity), and [...] Read more.
Open campus policies that grant access to the off-campus food environment may influence U.S. high school students’ exposure to unhealthy foods, yet predictors of these policies are unknown. Policy holding and built (walkability), food (access to grocery stores), social (school-to-neighborhood demographic similarity), and organizational (policy holding of neighboring schools) environment data were collected for 200 Oregon public high schools. These existing data were derived from the Oregon School Board Association, WalkScore.com, the 2010 Decennial Census, the 2010–2014 American Community Survey, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, TDLinex, Nielson directories, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Common Core of Data. Most (67%) of Oregon public high schools have open campus policies. Logistic regression analyses modeled open campus policy holding as a function of built, food, social, and organizational environment influences. With health and policy implications, the results indicate that the schools’ walkability, food access, and extent of neighboring open campus policy-schools are significantly associated with open campus policy holding in Oregon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of “Women’s Empowerment” on Child Nutritional Status in Pakistan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4499; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224499 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Women’s empowerment in terms of both involvements in employment activities and with decision-making about household activities is the most evident factors that can affect the nutritional and health status of their children. This paper investigates the effect of women’s empowerment (WE) on children’s [...] Read more.
Women’s empowerment in terms of both involvements in employment activities and with decision-making about household activities is the most evident factors that can affect the nutritional and health status of their children. This paper investigates the effect of women’s empowerment (WE) on children’s nutritional (CN) status in Pakistan. The Pakistan demographic health survey (PDHS 2012-13) cross-sectional data was used to analyze the impacts of WE on child malnutrition. The composite index of anthropometric failure (CIAF) was used as a dependent variable to measure the children’s nutritional status, and the wealth index household size. The number of children in a house and indicators of women empowerment, which included the mother’s education, employment status, and the household decision-making, were used as the independent variables. The method of binary logistic regression with marginal effects was used for the empirical analysis of the results. The results of the study showed the indicators of women’s empowerment, such as the education of the mother and employment status had a negative relationship with child malnutrition. Women’s decision-making about the visits to family, which is an indicator of WE, had an insignificant effect on CN. Similarly, socioeconomic status, which included the wealth index, also caused a reduction in child malnutrition. In addition, an increase in household size had a positive and significant relation to child malnutrition. Women are the primary caretakers of children in the household, and their intra-household dynamics affect the well-being of individuals. The empowerment of women acts as a means to enhance children’s nutritional status, which causes important developmental outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of the Impact of Two Methods of Nutrition-Behavioral Intervention on Selected Auxological and Biochemical Parameters in Obese Prepubertal Children—Crossover Preliminary Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2841; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162841 - 08 Aug 2019
Abstract
Obese children are exposed to short and long-term health consequences, such as dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. For these reasons, the prevention and treatment of obesity in the pediatric population is a challenge for health care professionals. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Obese children are exposed to short and long-term health consequences, such as dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. For these reasons, the prevention and treatment of obesity in the pediatric population is a challenge for health care professionals. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether an intensive intervention based on diet and physical activity has a better impact on the auxological and biochemical parameters than standard care (intervention). The study included 20 children (six boys, 14 girls), of the mean age 8.9 (SD 1.4) before puberty. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups: Group I (starting treatment with intensive intervention), and II (starting treatment with standard intervention). After three months, the groups were switched. The comparison of the two interventions in the study group indicates a better effectiveness of intensive intervention in the improvement of anthropometric parameters and majority of biochemical ones (except for insulin concentration, HOMA IR index and LDL cholesterol). As the result of intensive intervention, the mean % of weight-to-height excess and hip circumference decreased significantly (p < 0.005). Our results confirm that complex intervention based on systematic control visits, including personalized dietitian counselling and physician care, during the weight reduction process is more effective than a one-off standard visit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
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Open AccessCase Report
A Model for Improving Diet Quality within Child Nutrition Programs: The U.S. Army’s Child and Youth Services Healthy Menu Initiative
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082746 - 16 Apr 2020
Abstract
The U.S. Army’s Child, Youth, and School Services (CYS), which has the capacity to serve more than 70,000 meals/snacks per day, is a geographically dispersed system with facilities worldwide. This case report is a description and evaluation of the implementation of a major [...] Read more.
The U.S. Army’s Child, Youth, and School Services (CYS), which has the capacity to serve more than 70,000 meals/snacks per day, is a geographically dispersed system with facilities worldwide. This case report is a description and evaluation of the implementation of a major food program initiative within the CYS system. In collaboration with Kansas State University, the Healthy Menu Initiative was established to standardize the system’s menus, reflect the guidance contained within the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and take into account the Child and Adult Care Food Program regulations that went into effect on 1 October 2017. Food storage space, food service equipment, product availability, food safety considerations, and staff shortages have all proven to be challenges in the development and implementation of the menus. Participant acceptance has been an issue in some instances, and special diet requirements add to the workload of the staff. To overcome these challenges, input was solicited from CYS management, care providers, food service staff, and participant families, as well as participants themselves. Taste testing and classroom cooking activities have been developed to increase acceptance, and over 500 CYS food program staff have attended in-depth training sessions to support the initiative. Overall, the initiative has been well received, and there has been an improvement in the diet quality of the foods served within the program. This improvement is noteworthy, as optimal growth and development during childhood and adolescence are reliant on sound nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Nutrition Management)
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