Nutrition and physical activity self-assessment in childcare (NAP SACC) - UK

Only 10% of 2-4 year olds in the UK meet the recommendation of being physically active at least three hours a day. Most children do not eat sufficient fruits and vegetables and energy intake from non-milk extrinsic sugar consumption is more than double the recommended amount. Most 3-4 year olds in the UK attend some formal childcare. These settings provide opportunities to deliver interventions at the population level to improve nutritional quality and physical activity.

We are working with colleagues at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham to evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the nutrition and physical activity self assessment for childcare (NAP SACC) UK intervention to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary time and improve the quality and quantity of nutritional intake. The study is a multicentre randomised controlled trial. We will recruit 56 nurseries from four areas in the UK and children aged 2-4 years will be invited to take part. The nurseries will be randomly allocated to the intervention or control group. The intervention group nurseries will receive an intervention which involves nursery managers working with a health professional to self-assess policies and practices and set goals relating to physical activity and nutrition. Nursery staff attend training and the health professional will provide ongoing support for 12 months. The control group nurseries will carry on with usual practice.

The primary outcomes are accelerometer assessed mean total activity time on nursery days and average calories consumed across eating occasions on nursery days. An embedded process evaluation will examine fidelity, acceptability, sustainability in context and an economic evaluation will assess cost effectiveness. The study is funded by the NIHR Public Health Research programme and will start in February 2022 and run for three years.

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit logo 800 wide