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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp e312–e318 | Cite as

Healthy Start—Départ Santé: A pilot study of a multilevel intervention to increase physical activity, fundamental movement skills and healthy eating in rural childcare centres

  • Amanda Froehlich ChowEmail author
  • Anne Leis
  • Louise Humbert
  • Nazeem Muhajarine
  • Rachel Engler-Stringer
Public Health Intervention
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: In order to improve healthy behaviours among rural children in their early years, a physical activity and healthy eating intervention (Healthy Start–Départ Santé) was implemented in rural childcare centres throughout Saskatchewan. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the impact of a multimodal physical activity and healthy eating intervention on educators’ provision of opportunities for children to improve their physical activity levels, fundamental movement skills and healthy eating behaviours.

SETTINGS: Six childcare centres (three Francophone and three Anglophone) located in five different rural and semi-rural communities in Saskatchewan participated in this intervention.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 69 children with a mean age of 4 years 9 months, and 19 female early childhood educators.

INTERVENTION: Guided by an ecological framework, we implemented a population health controlled intervention, using a wait list control design (48 weeks delayed intervention), and evaluated its impact in rural childcare centres. Mixed methods were employed to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.

OUTCOMES: Overall, educators felt that the intervention supported the provision of physical activity and healthy eating opportunities for children. Increases in children’s physical activity levels were reported following the intervention.

CONCLUSION: The lessons learned in this study can be used to improve the Healthy Start–Départ Santé intervention so that its implementation can be effectively expanded to childcare centres within and outside Saskatchewan, in turn, supporting the healthy development of early years (0–5) children in the province and beyond.

Key Words

Child development health promotion early intervention rural health 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS : Afin de renforcer les comportements sains des enfants vivant en milieu rural au cours de leurs premières années de vie, on a mis en oeuvre une intervention d’activité physique et d’alimentation saine (Healthy Start–Départ Santé) dans les centres ruraux de la petite enfance de la Saskatchewan. L’objectif de notre étude était d’évaluer l’impact d’une intervention multimodale d’activité physique et d’alimentation saine sur les occasions offertes aux enfants par les éducatrices d’améliorer leurs niveaux d’activité physique, leurs habiletés motrices fondamentales et leurs comportements d’alimentation saine.

LIEUX : Six centres de la petite enfance (trois francophones et trois anglophones) situés dans cinq communautés rurales et semi-rurales de la Saskatchewan ont participé à cette intervention.

PARTICIPANTS : En tout, 69 enfants (âge moyen: 4 ans 9 mois) et 19 éducatrices de la petite enfance.

INTERVENTION : Avec un cadre de travail écologique pour guide, nous avons mis en oeuvre une intervention contrôlée en santé des populations, en utilisant des témoins placés sur une liste d’attente (intervention différée de 48 semaines), et nous en avons évalué l’impact dans les centres ruraux de la petite enfance. Nous avons employé des méthodes mixtes pour déterminer l’efficacité de l’intervention.

RÉSULTATS : Globalement, les éducatrices ont considéré que l’intervention soutenait l’offre d’occasions d’activité physique et d’alimentation saine aux enfants. Des hausses des niveaux d’activité physique des enfants ont été déclarées après l’intervention.

CONCLUSION : Les leçons de cette étude peuvent servir à améliorer l’intervention Healthy Start–Départ Santé pour que l’on puisse efficacement en étendre l’application aux centres de la petite enfance à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur des frontières de la Saskatchewan, pour ainsi soutenir en retour le développement sain des jeunes enfants (0 à 5 ans) dans la province et ailleurs.

Mots Clés

développement de l’enfant promotion de la santé intervention précoce santé en zone rurale 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda Froehlich Chow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Leis
    • 2
  • Louise Humbert
    • 1
  • Nazeem Muhajarine
    • 2
  • Rachel Engler-Stringer
    • 2
  1. 1.College of KinesiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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