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PANDA project logoPhysical Activity and Diet Assessment of Child Care (PANDA) was an assessment of nutrition and physical activity practices and policies of rural and urban child care centers, some of whom are participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

PURPOSE:  To assess the nutrition and physical activity practices, policies and environments in three southern states: Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia.




    • In each of the three states, a random sample of centers was selected, stratified by geographic region (rural/urban), participation in the CACFP, and Head Start status, and the self-report version of the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) tool for child care centers was administered to the center director and 1-2 preschool classroom staff at each center.
    • In Mississippi, the self-report version of the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) tool for family child care homes (FCCH) was used to assess nutrition and physical activity practices, policies, and environments in family child care homes.  In addition, the roles of local food and physical activity environments in determining the food and physical activity opportunities offered to children were examined via geocoding and FCCH provider survey.


    • The EPAO was mailed to 887 child care centers. A total of 388 centers (388 directors, and 710 preschool staff) completed and returned surveys, yielding a 44% response rate across the three states.
    • A random sample of more than 500 FCCHs, stratified by geographic region (rural/urban) and participation in the CACFP, were contacted, and the target sample response was approximately 152 FCCH providers.


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research Program


Temitope Erinosho, PhD – Principal Investigator


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