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Tennessee’s Gold Sneaker Initiative

Tennessee is enlisting child care providers in the fight against obesity with the Gold Sneaker initiative.
Toddler playing on a see saw

The Gold Sneaker initiative was developed to enhance policy related to health and wellness within licensed child care facilities across Tennessee. The voluntary certification program recognizes facilities that complete training on obesity prevention requirements and implement those requirements in their programs.

The initiative includes standards related to physical activity, nutrition, screen time, and feeding habits. Some of these standards include the recommendations that children older than 12 months must receive at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, breastfeeding infants must have a personalized feeding plan on file, and the viewing of television, videos and other visual recordings shall be limited to no more than 60 minutes per day of educational programs or programs that actively engage child movement. Before the launch of Gold Sneaker, Tennessee’s obesity prevention efforts focused primarily on school-age children and adults. The decision to target younger children was made in response to research showing the benefits of intervening earlier.

Facilities that choose to participate in the Gold Sneaker Initiative can receive free online training. These facilities also receive an incentive package with $200 of physical activity and nutrition resources as well as a certificate signed by the Governor and recognition on the Gold Sneaker web page.

Gold Sneaker is administered by the Department of Health and is funded through a combination of state and private foundation funds. Several public and private partners – including the Tennessee Child Care Resource and Referral Network, Tennessee Department of Human Services, and the United Way of Chattanooga – also contributed to the initiative’s development and continued implementation.

Reviewed July 2018.


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