New Hampshire’s Obesity Prevention Intervention Highlighted by the CDC

Concord, NH - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has
highlighted the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human
Services’ (DHHS) Obesity Prevention Program (OPP) for the implementation of
the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP
SACC). NAP SACC is a self-assessment tool to help child care programs
improve healthy eating and physical activity for preschool children. It was
developed by the University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion
and Disease Prevention and is one of three programs identified by The White
House Task Force on Childhood Obesity to address obesity in early

Healthy habits start early. Because of the large numbers of children
who attend child care, it is a logical place to start healthy habits by
providing healthy food and daily active play. Child care participation in
NAP SACC is voluntary. Child care programs complete the self-assessment to
decide where they want to focus their efforts.

“NAP SACC works because it gives child care programs the flexibility
to decide where they want to make changes and when they are ready to
begin,” said José Montero, Director of the Division of Public Health
Services at DHHS. “Once small changes are made, programs often move on to
more challenging issues.”

After completing the self-assessment, the early-care staff meets with
a NAP SACC consultant provided by the Obesity Prevention Program. Next
steps include developing an action plan, drafting policies, and deciding
how to implement improvements. Examples of changes made by child care
programs include making drinking water available indoors and out; updating
menus to include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; serving skim
milk to children age 2 and older; and increasing opportunities for active

The NAP SACC consultant also delivers staff training to support the
healthy changes.

To date, 15 child care programs serving more than 1,200 preschoolers
in the State have adopted policies resulting in more active play and
healthier food offerings. “If child care centers can maintain and improve
policies over time, then more and more children will benefit,” said Dr.
Montero. Additional NAP SACC efforts are underway in the state this summer.

To read the CDC article, visit . For more information
about NAP SACC or the NH Obesity Prevention Program, contact the program at
(603) 271-4551 or visit the website at