Community-based Public Health/Nutrition Research and Evaluation
Child Weight Surveillance in Preschool in Hartford, CT
The State of Connecticut, Office of Young Children contracted with the UConn Health to measure a sample of preschool children enrolled in center-based programs in order to provide a profile of how Hartford children fared compared to others. The findings that identify a disproportionate number of Hartford's young children as obese or overweight, although similar to trends across the country, are compelling and are in need of immediate attention.
Despite these findings, much can be done to promote the nutrition, physical activity and wellness of your children, particularly because the majority of Hartford preschool children are enrolled in center-based programs where they engage in physical activities and ingest most of their daily food intake.
A follow-up weight surveillance using the 2012 protocol was completed in May 2016. An expanded sample size (n=2,072) provided an updated estimate of childhood obesity in 3 to 5 year-old children in Hartford preschools. A multivariate regression showed that ethnicity, but not age or gender, predicted body mass index (BMI) percentile.
Ann Ferris, Ph.D., RD
Catalina Quesada, MPH, RD
Erin Havens, MPA, MPH
Dorothy Wakefield, MS
Elizabeth Schilling, Ph.D.