Objective: To determine the feasibility, acceptability, and reported impact of a nutrition and physical activity environmental intervention in child care.
Design: Self-assessment instrument completed pre- and post-intervention by randomly assigned intervention and comparison child care centers.
Setting: Child care centers in 8 counties across North Carolina.
Participants: A convenience sample of 19 child care centers (15 intervention and 4 comparison).
Intervention: Intervention centers completed the self-assessment instrument at baseline and then selected 3 environmental improvements to make over the 6-month intervention period with assistance from a trained NAP SACC Consultant.
Main outcome measure: Changes in pre- and post-intervention self-assesment of the nutrition and physical activity child care environment with additional process measures to evaluate project implementation, feasibility and acceptability.
Analysis: Comparison of pre- and post-test scores for the intervention group using a Wilcoxon signed-rank test and descriptions of environmental changes.
Results: Intervention centers rated themselves higher at follow-up than at baseline, and relative to comparison centers, reported a variety of environmental nutrition and physical activity improvements confirmed by research staff.
Conclusions and implications: The NAP SACC pilot intervention shows promise as an approach to promote healthy weight environments in preschool settings. Additional evaluation of the project is needed using a greater number of centers and a more objective outcome measure.