Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. M. F. Mottola


The association between pre-school child care participation and markers of adiposity at kindergarten entry was examined using parent reported previous child care exposure and directly measured body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) of kindergarten children (N=201; boys=106, girls=95). It was hypothesized that kindergarten children with previous exposure to full-time non-parent child care (FNPC; >20h/week) would have increased risk of overweight/obesity (BMI≥ 85th percentile) and high central adiposity (WC ≥80th percentile) compared to parent care (PC). The data suggest that there was no significant relationship between FNPC (n=112) and risk of overweight/obesity (OR=1.17, 95% CI=0.58-2.34, p=0.66) or central adiposity (OR=1.82, 95% CI=0.95-3.50, p=0.71). However, girls in the FNPC group had greater BMI (PC=15.3±1.6 kg/m2vs FNPC=16.1± 1.5 kg/m2; p=0.03) and WC (PC=51.7±4.1 cm vs FNPC=53.8±4.1 cm; p=0.02) values compared to PC. These differences were not found in boys. These findings suggest that girls exposed to non-parent care during early years may be vulnerable to increased adiposity.