Chapel Hill, NC – The Children’s Healthy Weight Research Group at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is partnering with the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Department for Public Health to help ensure young children a healthy start to life.  The strategy is to bring Go NAPSACC, an evidence-based program developed at UNC, to child care providers in Kentucky to help them adopt practices that promote healthy eating and physical activity.

Child care programs are an ideal environment for teaching young children the skills needed to make healthy lifestyle choices.  The four-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will support a randomized control study to understand the most effective strategies for ensuring improving adoption of these healthy eating and physical activity practices by child care programs.

“Kentucky has the sixth highest rate of obesity in the U.S.” stated Elaine Russell from the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “Evidenced-based solutions like Go NAPSACC will reinforce our state’s efforts to improve the quality of child care and give children a healthy start to life.”

The Kentucky Department for Public Health will be a key partner in this Go NAPSACC study as they will provide an existing network of technical assistance professionals across Kentucky that will guide child care providers through the Go NAPSACC program.  “From the past decade of research, we know that Go NAPSACC can reduce the BMI of young children,” observed Dr. Dianne Ward from UNC, “this study will allow us to test strategies that technical assistance professionals can use to maximize the program’s impact.”

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About Go NAPSACC: gonapsacc.org is an easy-to-use web-based toolkit for early care and education programs interested in building healthy eating and physical activity habits in children. Go NAPSACC is based on a set of best practices that stem from the latest research and guidelines in the field. Programs use Go NAPSACC to improve their practices, policies, and environments and meet these best practices.  Go NAPSACC was developed by the Children’s Healthy Weight Research Group, which is part of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at UNC.

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