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      Obesity prevention in child care: A review of U.S. state regulations

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          Abstract

          Objective

          To describe and contrast individual state nutrition and physical activity regulations related to childhood obesity for child care centers and family child care homes in the United States.

          Methods

          We conducted a review of regulations for child care facilities for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We examined state regulations and recorded key nutrition and physical activity items that may contribute to childhood obesity. Items included in this review were: 1) Water is freely available; 2) Sugar-sweetened beverages are limited; 3) Foods of low nutritional value are limited; 4) Children are not forced to eat; 5) Food is not used as a reward; 6) Support is provided for breastfeeding and provision of breast milk; 7) Screen time is limited; and 8) Physical activity is required daily.

          Results

          Considerable variation exists among state nutrition and physical activity regulations related to obesity. Tennessee had six of the eight regulations for child care centers, and Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, and Nevada had five of the eight regulations. Conversely, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Nebraska and Washington had none of the eight regulations. For family child care homes, Georgia and Nevada had five of the eight regulations; Arizona, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and West Virginia had four of the eight regulations. California, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska did not have any of the regulations related to obesity for family child care homes.

          Conclusion

          Many states lack specific nutrition and physical activity regulations related to childhood obesity for child care facilities. If widely implemented, enhancing state regulations could help address the obesity epidemic in young children in the United States.

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          Most cited references65

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          Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.

          Obesity is a major epidemic, but its causes are still unclear. In this article, we investigate the relation between the intake of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the development of obesity. We analyzed food consumption patterns by using US Department of Agriculture food consumption tables from 1967 to 2000. The consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. HFCS now represents > 40% of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages and is the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States. Our most conservative estimate of the consumption of HFCS indicates a daily average of 132 kcal for all Americans aged > or = 2 y, and the top 20% of consumers of caloric sweeteners ingest 316 kcal from HFCS/d. The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity. The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis. In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain. Furthermore, calorically sweetened beverages may enhance caloric overconsumption. Thus, the increase in consumption of HFCS has a temporal relation to the epidemic of obesity, and the overconsumption of HFCS in calorically sweetened beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.
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            Health consequences of obesity in youth: childhood predictors of adult disease.

            W Dietz (1998)
            Obesity now affects one in five children in the United States. Discrimination against overweight children begins early in childhood and becomes progressively institutionalized. Because obese children tend to be taller than their nonoverweight peers, they are apt to be viewed as more mature. The inappropriate expectations that result may have an adverse effect on their socialization. Many of the cardiovascular consequences that characterize adult-onset obesity are preceded by abnormalities that begin in childhood. Hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and abnormal glucose tolerance occur with increased frequency in obese children and adolescents. The relationship of cardiovascular risk factors to visceral fat independent of total body fat remains unclear. Sleep apnea, pseudotumor cerebri, and Blount's disease represent major sources of morbidity for which rapid and sustained weight reduction is essential. Although several periods of increased risk appear in childhood, it is not clear whether obesity with onset early in childhood carries a greater risk of adult morbidity and mortality. Obesity is now the most prevalent nutritional disease of children and adolescents in the United States. Although obesity-associated morbidities occur more frequently in adults, significant consequences of obesity as well as the antecedents of adult disease occur in obese children and adolescents. In this review, I consider the adverse effects of obesity in children and adolescents and attempt to outline areas for future research. I refer to obesity as a body mass index greater than the 95th percentile for children of the same age and gender.
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              Changes in beverage intake between 1977 and 2001.

              To examine American beverage consumption trends and causes. Nationally representative data from the 1977-1978 Nationwide Food Consumption Survey, the 1989-1991 and 1994-1996 (also for children aged 2 to 9 years in 1998) Continuing Surveys of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII), and 1999-2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used in this study. The sample consisted of 73,345 individuals, aged >or=2 years. For each survey year, the percentage of total energy intake from meals and snacks was calculated separately for respondents aged 2 to 18 years, 19 to 39, 40 to 59, and >or=60. The percentage of energy intake by location (at home consumption or preparation, vending, store eaten out, restaurant/fast food, and school), as well as for specific beverages was computed separately for all age groups. The proportion consumed, mean portion size, and number of servings were calculated. For all age groups, sweetened beverage consumption increased and milk consumption decreased. Overall, energy intake from sweetened beverages increased 135% and was reduced by 38% from milk, with a 278 total calorie increase. These trends were associated with increased proportions of Americans consuming larger portions, more servings per day of sweetened beverage, and reductions in these same measures for milk. There is little research that has focused on the beneficial impacts of reduced soft drink and fruit drink intake. This would seem to be one of the simpler ways to reduce obesity in the United States.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central
                1471-2458
                2008
                30 May 2008
                : 8
                : 188
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, 133 Brookline Avenue, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA
                [2 ]Harvard Prevention Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02115, USA
                [3 ]Center for Children's Health Innovation, Nemours Health and Prevention Services, 252 Chapman Rd., Suite 200, Newark, DE 19709, USA
                [4 ]Department of Nutrition, 260 Rosenau Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
                Article
                1471-2458-8-188
                10.1186/1471-2458-8-188
                2438347
                18513424
                f87a5821-72a3-4eea-981a-53bcc97e9e55
                Copyright © 2008 Benjamin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 18 January 2008
                : 30 May 2008
                Categories
                Research Article

                Public health
                Public health

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