Health Indicators in Preschool Children

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown, Hope College
Professor Vicki Voskuil, Hope College
Dr. Steven Smith, Hope College
Dr. Mark Northuis, Hope College

Document Type


Publication Date



This material is based upon work supported by the Hope College-Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Development Grants for Interdisciplinary Research under grant No. G00024963.


During the preschool years, children’s development is especially vulnerable because their physical and mental health is easily shaped by outside factors such as activity and nutrition (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005). In recent years, trends in the United States illustrate the rise of childhood obesity with over nine million cases in children greater than six years of age (Smith & Northuis, 2006). Screening a child’s growth and other health measures at an early age is essential to promote physiological and psychological wellbeing in these critical years, which will help to identify precursors to obesity. As part of a nature-based enrichment program evaluation for preschoolers, children’s height, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), and blood pressure were examined in relation to the children’s age and gender. These data provide the baseline for a pre-/post-test comparison following the enrichment program intervention.

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