Evaluation of Obesity Prevention Strategies in a Head Start Program
Keywords:Head Start, obesity prevention, evaluation, IMIL
An evaluation of the I am Moving, I am Learning strategies was conducted in one Head Start program. A mixed methods design was used, including caregiver and teacher surveys, and nutrition specialist classroom observations. 249 caregivers and 46 teachers participated. Teachers identified their influence on preschoolers through role modeling of healthy eating and physical activity and were observed using the program mascot and music. However, they did not model physical activities and engaged in limited nutrition discussions during meal/snack times. Teachers identified the need for more time to incorporate IMIL activities, additional resources for implementation, more caregiver engagement with IMIL, and take-home activities/music. Most caregivers were not familiar with IMIL/5210 messages and did not incorporate health behaviors at home. Future research could explore the impact of caregiver engagement in IMIL on child/family behavior change and strategies for enhancing teacher modeling of movement in the classroom.
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