Dr. Russell Pate, professor of exercise science and director of the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health’s Children’s Physical Activity Research Group, has received a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
[Photo: Dr. Russell Pate]
Working with partners from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Pate and his Arnold School-based team will use the four-year R01 grant to assess how family child care homes influence behaviors, such as diet and physical activity, that are related to children’s weight status.
“Since the 1970s, the prevalence of obesity in children ages 2 – 5 has approximately tripled, and millions of American children in that age group spend substantial time each week in formal child care settings,” says Dr. Pate. “Therefore, it is important to understand how practices in those settings influence factors that may be related to obesity.”
The Childcare Home Eating & Exercise Research Study (CHEER) will include providers, parents and children associated with family child care homes throughout South Carolina. During the three-year study, the researchers will visit each site on three occasions to observe practices that may influence children’s weight status and take measurements of participating children’s height and weight. Parents will be asked to complete surveys, and children will be asked to wear physical activity and sleep trackers for several days.
Providers and parents/guardians will be compensated for participation, and data will be kept strictly confidential. Project flyer