Edward Frongillo:

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Body Weight; Child Development (physiology); Child Health; Child, Preschool; Cohort Studies; Exercise; Female; Humans; Infant; Longitudinal Studies; Male; Motor Activity; Nutritional Status; South Carolina



Physical activity is known to provide important health benefits in children ages 3 years and above, but little is known about the effects of physical activity on health in very young children under age 3. LAUNCH (Linking Activity, Nutrition, and Child Health) is a study designed to expand the body of knowledge on development of physical activity behavior and associations between physical activity and other health characteristics as children transition from infancy to preschool age.


Physical activity and sedentary behavior will be measured objectively in young children over a period of 30 months. Each child will complete a measurement protocol at 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months of age. The following factors will be measured at each time point: physical activity, sedentary behavior, anthropometric characteristics, and motor developmental status. Objectively-measured sleep behavior will be included as an optional component of the protocol. Parents will provide information on demographic factors, parenting behaviors, home and childcare characteristics, and the child’s dietary and sleep behaviors.


LAUNCH will employ a longitudinal study design and objective measures of physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep in examining developmental trends for those characteristics in children between the ages of 6 and 36 months. Associations among physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep, and weight status will be examined. Findings will inform public health guidance and intervention strategies for very young children.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© The Author(s).2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

APA Citation

Pate, R., Frongillo, E., Cordan, K., Dowda, M., McLain, A., & Torres, M. et al. (2020). Linking Activity, Nutrition, and Child Health (LAUNCH): protocol for a longitudinal cohort study of children as they develop from infancy to preschool age. BMC Public Health, 20(1).