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)

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).