Sustaining an obesity prevention intervention in preschools.
This paper outlines the healthy eating and physical activity strategies that were sustained over two and three years after a year-long preschool obesity prevention program in rural and regional NSW, Australia. Seventeen preschool directors were interviewed as part of the pre and post-evaluation data collection in preschools in 2006 and 2007. In July 2009 a follow-up study of the Tooty Fruity Vegie program was conducted by an independent party to evaluate the program's sustainability. Research was in the form of a telephone interview and related to questions originally asked of the directors. Most of the Tooty Fruity Vegie strategies continued in preschools after health promotion contact ceased. The strategies that were sustained were those that involved experiential activities for the children (e.g taste testing and physical activity sessions), those that were easy for the preschool to implement (e.g. newsletter tips) and those that became embedded into the organisational or environmental framework (e.g. increased access to drinking water). A one-year multi-strategic obesity prevention program in preschool shows promise in sustaining some strategies beyond the year of assisted intervention.