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Concurrent validation of the CHEERS survey and the mindful eating questionnaire
Lafave, LynneWebster, Alexis
Children’s eating and activity patterns are strongly influenced by early childhood social, cultural, and physical environments surrounding the eating and activity experience. The creating healthy eating environments in childcare (CHEERS) survey is a 59 item audit tool that can be self-administered to measure gaps, weaknesses, and strengths of early childhood education and care (ECEC) centre-based nutrition and physical activity environment. It has undergone content validation and reliability testing but has yet to undergo concurrent validation. The mindful eating questionnaire (MEQ) provides a non-judgemental awareness of physical and emotional sensations with eating. CHEERS and MEQ measure overlapping constructs related to healthy eating constructs. The purpose of this study was to concurrently validate the CHEERS audit tool with the MEQ. Educators from ECEC centres in Alberta were recruited as part of a larger study to determine the impact of a 10-month well-being intervention focused on nutrition, physical activity, personal health, and sleep on the ECEC environment and educator professional practice. Educators completed the CHEERS and MEQ tools to provide a baseline measure of current practice. Pearson r correlation coefficient was calculated on the four subscales of the CHEERS score (food served, healthy eating environment, healthy eating program planning, and physical activity environment), the MEQ score, and educator age using SPSS v26. A total of 212 educators with a mean age of 38.3 ± 8.9 from 42 ELCC centres participated in the study. The average score for the CHEERS subdomains were: food served M = 5.97 SD=0.71; healthy eating environment M=5.82 SD=0.86; healthy eating program planning M=4.51 SD=1.43; and physical activity environment M=5.64 SD=0.97. The MEQ subdomain of awareness was positively correlated with the CHEERS healthy eating environment (r=.17, p=.05) and healthy eating program planning (r=.22, p=.01). The overall MEQ score was significantly associated with educator age (r=.20, p=0.02). The alignment between the MEQ awareness subdomain with the CHEERS healthy eating environment and program planning domains provides evidence of concurrent validity for the CHEERS audit tool.
CHEERS (Survey)Preschool nutritionHealthy eatingValidity
Mount Royal University
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