A Survey Questionnaire of Pre-school Food Provision in the Cwm Taf Area
Morgan, Bethan Frances
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Food eaten by children in early years affects their health in later life. Welsh statistics suggest dietary intakes of many children are sub-optimal; being low in fresh fruit and vegetables and high in snacks containing fat, sugar and salt (Welsh Government Food and Health Guidelines (WGFHG), 2009). Recent figures from the Child Measurement Programme for Wales (2015) identified that 26.2% of children in Wales are overweight or obese. The local authority area with the highest prevalence is Merthyr Tydfil (MT), with 32.5% of children aged 4-5 being overweight or obese. The rise in childhood obesity is problematic, as children are now more at risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers (WGFHG, 2009). Increased prevalence of overweight and obesity of children in the reception years (Child Measurement Programme for Wales, 2015), shows the demand for increased support and monitoring of food provision in pre-school settings. In response to the major public health issue of childhood obesity, Public Health Wales (PHW) received funding as part of the Transforming Health Improvements in Wales (2011) initiative. This Funding aims to improve and maintain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Scheme (WNHSS) in order to promote good nutrition in education settings. This funding has also resulted in PH Dietitians providing accredited nutrition training programmes to community workers as part of the Nutrition Skills for Life programme. This programme provides a Level 2 Nutrition in the Early Years course, aiming to broaden the knowledge and understanding of nutrition for pre-school staff. The Healthy and Sustainable Pre-School Scheme (HSPSS) (2015) was developed as an extension of the WNHSS; encouraging pre-schools to introduce health improvements to their settings; enhancing standards. Food provision standards such as those outlined in the Welsh Government (WG) Food and Health Guidelines (2009), the Caroline Walker Trust Guidance (CWTG) (2014) and the HSPSS (2015), provide a framework for expected service levels and therefore an effective tool to evaluate performance and inform improvements (WG, 2015). Research on pre-school food provision in general is limited and no published literature has been found to assess the support given to pre-schools by PH Dietitians.
BSc (Hons) Public Health Nutrition
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