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Child care centers offer opportunity to help Oklahoma children live healthier lives

Many Oklahoma child care centers have implemented some healthy practices for the children they serve, according to a study released Thursday.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: August 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm •  Published: August 1, 2013
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Creating a healthy environment early in a child's life can improve a child's chances of maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in healthy behaviors, Sisson said.

“We know that setting an early path for health really is associated with longer term health,” Sisson said.

Many children spend a lot of time outside of their parents' care. More than half of children in the U.S. ages 2 to 5 are in a child care facility, she said. Those with working mothers spend at least 35 hours per week at a child care facility.

That means there are many opportunities for the child care center workers to promote a healthy lifestyle. Young children who are overweight or obese often carry that weight into adolescence and early adulthood, she said.

“There are some children, of course, who were maybe heavier when they were younger and then got into some kind of athletics or started to appreciate what they were eating more and are no longer at risk, but that is not what the majority of data show us,” she said.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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