Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative

Project Description

final_logoThe HPRC’s newest core research project, Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative (OSNAP), works with out of school time (OST) programs in Massachusetts and Maine to improve nutrition- and physical activity-related practices, environments, and policies.

From 2009-2014, OSNAP will promote actions to help partner sites achieve the following goals: 1) include 30 minutes of moderate, fun, physical activity for every child every day; offer 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity three times per week; 2) ban sugar-sweetened drinks from being served or brought to program; 3) offer water as a beverage at snack every day; 4) eliminate use of commercial broadcast TV/movies; limit recreational computer time to less than one hour per day; 5) offer a fruit or vegetable option every girl swinging (girl_swinging_000009136748xsmall.jpg)day; and 6) ban foods with trans fats.

With our community partners, OSNAP will identify and support sustainable policy and environmental strategies that promote increased access to healthy snacks and opportunities for physical activity that can be used in a variety of OST settings.

Researchers are examining students’ physical activity levels and snack and beverage intake through accelerometer wear, examination of plate waste, on-site observations, and policy analysis at baseline and at the end of the school year. These results will be broadly disseminated throughout Massachusetts and Maine. Researchers will develop tools that afterschool programs can use to introduce healthy snacks and drinks and encourage physical activity in boy_apple_water (boy_apple_water_000013621451xsmall.jpg)their programs.

Visit our interactive website, www.osnap.org, which will help guide afterschool program staff and organizational leaders through the process of improving out of school time program practices and policies related to healthy foods, drinks, and physical activity.

Principal Investigator: Steven Gortmaker
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Funding Dates:
2009 – 2014  
For more information, contact Catherine Giles.



Lee RM, Emmons KM, Okechukwu CA, Barrett JL, Kenney EL, Cradock AL, Giles CM, de Blois ME, Gortmaker SL. Validity of a practitioner-administered observational tool to measure physical activity, nutrition, and screen time in school-age programs. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014 Nov 28;11(1):145.

Kenney EL, Austin SB, Cradock AL, Giles CM, Lee RM, Davison KK, Gortmaker SL. Identifying Sources of Children’s Consumption of Junk Food in Boston After-School Programs, April-May 2011. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 Nov 20;11:E205.

Lee RM, Okechukwu C, Emmons KM, Gortmaker SL. Impact of implementation factors on children’s water consumption in the Out-of-School Nutrition and Physical Activity group-randomized trial. New Dir Youth Dev. 2014 Sep;2014(143):79-101.

Kenney EL, Giles CM, deBlois ME, Gortmaker SL, Chinfatt S, Cradock AL. Improving nutrition and physical activity policies in afterschool programs: results from a group-randomized controlled trial. Prev Med. 2014 Sep;66:159-66.

Giles CM, Kenney EL Gortmaker SL, Lee RM, Thayer JC, Mont-Ferguson H, Cradock AL. Increasing water availability during afterschool snack: evidence, strategies, and partnerships from a group randomized trial. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Sep;43(3 Suppl 2):S136-42.


The Harvard Prevention Research Center is a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement number 1-U48-DP-001946.