New research suggests centre-based childcare may bring health benefits

From the Medical Xpress article

A new study conducted in Canada found that children who attended centre-based childcare between 1 and 4 years of age had a lower body mass index (BMI) and were less likely to be overweight or obese in later childhood than children who had non-parental childcare that was home-based or provided by relatives or nannies. These associations were stronger for children from lower income families.

“Although more research is needed, our findings suggest that centre-based childcare may help level socioeconomic-related health disadvantages for children from low-income families,” said Michaela Kucab, a graduate student at St. Michael’s Hospital, a site of Unity Health Toronto, and the University of Toronto, both in Canada.

Kucab will present the findings online at Nutrition 2022 Live Online, the flagship annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition held June 14-16.

“We hope this work draws much-needed attention to prioritizing centre-based childcare while also encouraging future research on the impact of centre-based childcare on growth and other important health and developmental outcomes in children,” said the study’s senior author Jonathon Maguire, MD, from St. Michael’s Hospital.

Previous studies evaluating the relationship between childcare attendance and obesity have primarily focused on comparing parental care with non-parental childcare settings.

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