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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Although there's room for improvement, many Oklahoma child care centers have implemented some healthy practices for the children they serve, according to a study released Thursday.

A recent study through OU Health Sciences Center found that many Oklahoma children are eating fruit and spending some time outdoors while at child care centers.

Susan Sisson, an assistant professor at the OU Health Sciences Center, wanted to learn more about existing nutritional and physical activity policies and practices at state-licensed child care centers in Oklahoma.

Sisson and her team sent surveys to 703 child care centers and received 314 completed surveys.

Overall, the researchers found that fruit was served daily by 76 percent of the centers responding. A total of 71 percent served non-fried vegetables daily. About 92 percent rarely or never served sugary drinks, such as tea or soda, to the children in their care.

About 95 percent of the centers responding to the survey reported providing outdoor play opportunities at least once a day.

About one-third of low-income preschoolers in Oklahoma are overweight or obese, she said.

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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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