Recently, Dr. Bryce Lowery from the Division of Regional and City Planning collaborated with a team from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Allied Health at the OU Health and Sciences Center to publish a series of three papers that explore the relationship between Early Care and Education settings in Oklahoma and access to park space and grocery stores.
The first article, published in June in Current Developments in Nutrition, found that child care settings might provide a protective nutritional micro-environment for small children even in areas designated as food deserts.
The second article, published in the July issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, found that grocery store availability influences classroom nutritional practices in family care settings – more so than in Head Starts or community-based child care settings.
The third article, published in June in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, explored relationships between early child care centers and access to parks and playgrounds. The team of researchers found that family child care settings were more sensitive to a lack of nearby green space, but overall, child care centers provide a protective activity environment for small children.
Dr. Bethany Williams of Washington State University led the research team that included: Dr. Bryce Lowery of the Gibbs College of Architecture Division of Regional and City Planning; Dr. Susan Sission of College of Allied Health OU Health Sciences Center; Dr. Dipti Dev of the College of Education and Human Sciences University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Dr. Diane Horm of the Early Childhood Education Institute University of Oklahoma-Tulsa; and others from the OU College of Allied Health and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.