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Family child care home providers as role models for children: Cause for concern?

Health behaviors associated with chronic disease, particularly healthy eating and regular physical activity, are important role modeling opportunities for individuals working in child care programs. Prior studies have not explored these risk factors in family child care home (FCCH) providers which care for vulnerable and at-risk populations. To address this gap, we describe the socio-demographic and health risk behavior profiles in a sample of providers (n = 166 FCCH) taken from baseline data of an ongoing cluster-randomized controlled intervention (2011-2016) in North Carolina. Data were collected during on-site visits where providers completed self-administered questionnaires (socio-demographics, physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, number of hours of sleep per night and perceived stress) and had their height and weight measured. A risk score (range: 0-6; 0 no risk to 6 high risk) was calculated based on how many of the following were present: not having health insurance, being overweight/obese, not meeting physical activity, fruit and vegetable, and sleep recommendations, and having high stress. Mean and frequency distributions of participant and FCCH characteristics were calculated. Close to one third (29.3%) of providers reported not having health insurance. Almost all providers (89.8%) were overweight or obese with approximately half not meeting guidelines for physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and sleep. Over half reported a "high" stress score. The mean risk score was 3.39 ([plus or minus] 1.2), with close to half of the providers having a risk score of 4, 5 or 6 (45.7%). These results stress the need to promote the health of these important care providers. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
North Carolina

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