Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) Initiative

The Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) Initiative, works with out of school time (OST) programs to improve nutrition- and physical activity-related practices, environments, and policies.


OSNAP promotes 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 day; and 6) ban foods with trans fats.Little girl in a red t-shirt swinging

With our community partners, OSNAP identifies and supports 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 have examined 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.

Little boy eating an apple and drinking waterThe OSNAP initiative has been broadly disseminated throughout Massachusetts; tools and resources are available on our interactive website to help afterschool programs introduce healthy snacks and drinks and encourage physical activity in their programs. The OSNAP online program assessments, learning communities, and action planning process 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.

Currently, researchers are studying the effectiveness and cost of two training models, an in-person train-the-trainer strategy and an interactive online strategy, for scaling up the OSNAP intervention nationally via a partnership with the YMCA.

Full Website: osnap.org

OSNAP Effectiveness Trial
Principal Investigator: Steven Gortmaker, PhD
Funder: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Funding Dates: 2009 – 2015
Contact: Rebekka Lee

OSNAP Dissemination Study
Principal Investigator: Rebekka Lee, ScD
Funder: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
Funding Dates: 2016-present
Contact: Rebekka Lee

Browse our Products section to view key resources from this project and from all of our projects!

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Lee RM, Barrett JL, Daly JG, Mozaffarian RS, Giles CM, Cradock AL, Gortmaker SL. Assessing the effectiveness of training models for national scale-up of an evidence-based nutrition and physical activity intervention: a group randomized trialBMC Public Health. 2019;19(1587). doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7902-y

Lee RM, Giles CM, Cradock AL, Emmons KM, Okechukwu CA, Kenney EL, Thayer JC, Gortmaker SL. Impact of the Out-of-School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) Group Randomized Controlled Trial on Children’s Food, Beverage, and Calorie Consumption among Snacks Served. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018 Aug;118(8):1425-1437.

Cradock AL, Barrett JL, Giles CM, Lee RM, Kenney EL, deBlois ME, Thayer JC, Gortmaker SL. Promoting Physical Activity With the Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) Initiative: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2015 Dec 7:1-9.

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.