In the US, 6.5 million children attend out-of-school-time (OST) programs annually, participating in roughly 3 hours per day of activities typically including homework, snack, and play. The purpose of this project was to conduct policy research that assessed current out-of-school-time physical activity and healthy eating policies and practices before new national policies were put in place through the National Afterschool Association (NAA) Council on Accreditation in 2010. Rapid-response funding was awarded in order to infuse more rigorous content and provide guidance and language in the NAA standards for physical activity and healthy eating. Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and statistical analysis were used to examine program characteristics associated with providing healthy eating and physical activity opportunities in a national sample of OST programs. The level of implementation of high quality standards was measured based on program components and characteristics such as staff training, supervision, program planning, enrollment, organizational structure, standards/accreditation status, and support mechanisms.
Visit the Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Web site for more information, including curricula, toolkits, research reports, guidelines, annotated bibliography, and additional links.
This study was funded jointly by Active Living Research and Healthy Eating Research.