University of New Mexico

Funded Project

The objectives of NM NOPREN are to build the evidence for effective healthier food and beverage policies in early care and education (ECE) settings serving predominantly Hispanic and American Indian populations. This will complement the broader research efforts of the UNM PRC and will build from our extensive experience in prevention of obesity and chronic disease, child nutrition, and policy research and evaluation. Specifically, we will identify food and beverage policies that support the prevention of obesity in New Mexico ECE settings, the factors (facilitators) needed to support them, and the level of implementation. We will also examine the barriers that may prevent food and beverage policy adoption, impede their transfer to other geographies or settings, or inhibit their application to larger populations.

Key Activites

By addressing policies in Hispanic and American Indian ECE facilities, the research will address disparities in nutrition and healthy food environments that are associated with chronic disease.

The Specific Aims of NM NOPREN as a Collaborating Center are:

  • To serve as a collaborating center of the NOPREN, developing leadership in policy research and evaluation within the national network and within our state partner network of public health practitioners
  • To contribute to the NOPREN Early Care and Education (ECE) working group and add to the evidence base for effective policy and environmental approaches in ECE settings
  • To serve as a resource and to provide technical assistance to ECE centers, and state and community partners related to nutrition and obesity prevention policy development and evaluation in the ECE setting

The specific aims of the NM NOPREN pilot project are:

  • To conduct a policy scan of food and beverage policies in New Mexico childcare programs
  • To evaluate how policy existence and implementation differ based on center characteristics (e.g., rural vs. urban, independent or part of larger sponsor organization)
  • To evaluate the implementation process for food and beverage policies
  • To identify barriers and facilitators to the successful implementation of food and beverage policies


Sally Davis, PhD
Principal Investigator/Director
Phone: (505) 272–4462

Patricia Keane, MS, RD
Lecturer II (LAT), Associate Scientist II
Prevention Research Center
Department of Pediatrics
University of New Mexico
Phone: 505-272-3933