Marjorie Lima do Vale | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 09/07/2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am

A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES PhD Final Exam Seminar by Marjorie Lima do Vale. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

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Meeting ID: 899 5204 3265 | Password: 291428

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Thesis Topic: Implementation of Centre-level Food and Nutrition Policies: A Mixed-Methods Study of Child Care Centres in Alberta

PhD with Dr. Anna Farmer.

Seminar Abstract: Child care centres are important spaces for health promotion. Although child care centres have an important role in offering meals that include important nutrients that young children need for healthy growth and development and in supporting young children in developing healthy eating behaviours that can be carried into adulthood, food environments in child care centres are sub-optimal. Food and Nutrition Policies (FNPs) have the potential to improve child care food environments, but evidence still limited. The purpose of this sequential, mixed-methods study was to: i) perform a scoping review to identify theories, models and frameworks (TMFs) used to inform the implementation of healthy eating interventions in centre-based child care services in developed countries, ii) conduct a cross-sectional survey to describe resources and strategies in place to support FNPs implementation in child care centres in Edmonton, Alberta, and iii) complete a theoretically-informed multiple case study to describe characteristics of the innovation, recipients, and context that influence the implementation of FNPs among child care centres classified as low and high implementers. The scoping review identified 28 different TMFs targeting different socio-ecological levels across 38 studies. The cross-sectional survey included 43 (13,8% response rate) child care centres across the Edmonton metropolitan region. Almost all of the participating centres had a FNPs in place (94%). However, on average, only about 9 of the 17 resources and processes (range 1–17) required to support FNPs implementation were well-established across centres. More often, policies lacked description of goals and providers’ responsibilities, centres did not secure resources for policy implementation and lacked evaluation of policy implementation. The multiple case study presented a comprehensive description of factors that might influence FNPs implementation in child care centres. In terms of innovation, lack of clarity on FNPs and a limited degree of fit were the main gaps to implementation. FNP’s implementation was further constrained by low parents’ commitment and providers’ knowledge and skills. But mostly, by providers’ limited power and authority to enforce. In general, child care centres provided a supportive environment for FNPs implementation, but mechanisms to embed and evaluate FNPs implementation lacked focus on FNPs. Overall, cases were influenced by external and system-level factors, such as regulatory frameworks, incentives and environmental stability. Access to inter-organizational networks varied across the different organizational structures (profit, non-profit, franchised). In conclusion, collaborations between researchers, policymakers, practitioners and families can help to build capacity for FNPs implementation and to address the gaps identified.