college of public health and human sciences

Study: Women lack exercise; at risk of developing metabolic syndrome

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A national study shows that women are less likely than men to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, resulting in greater odds of developing metabolic syndrome – a risky and increasingly prevalent condition related to obesity.

Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of risk factors – including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and extra weight around the middle part of the body – which occur together and increase the risk for coronary disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. The researchers initially were interested in the correlation between physical activity, depression and metabolic syndrome, and ended up finding a gender difference.

The study, now online in the journal Preventive Medicine, was conducted at Oregon State University by Paul Loprinzi and Bradley Cardinal, professor of social psychology of physical activity at OSU. Loprinzi is now an assistant professor of exercise science at Bellarmine University. He conducted the research when he was a student in Cardinal’s lab at OSU.

“The results indicate that regular physical activity participation was associated with positive health outcomes for both men and women; however, there was a greater strength of association for women,” Loprinzi said.

Looking at more than 1,000 men and women from a nationally represented sample, the researchers found that women were getting only about 18 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily, compared to men who, on average, were getting 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily.

“Those who get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day are less likely to be depressed, less likely to have high cholesterol and less likely to have metabolic syndrome,” Loprinzi said.

Loprinzi and Cardinal’s study is unique in part because it is the first to use an “objective” measure of physical activity – in this case participants were outfitted with accelerometers that measured daily activity. In their study, slightly more than one in three women had metabolic syndrome, and one in five had symptoms of depression.

“It’s pretty striking what happens to you if you don’t meet that 30 minutes a day of activity,” Cardinal said. “Women in our sample had better health behavior – they were much less likely to smoke for instance, but the lack of activity still puts them at risk.”

Cardinal said depression puts people at more risk of abdominal fat and insulin resistance, and both are risk factors for metabolic syndrome.

“Physical activity has been shown to reduce depression,” he said. “So the key message here is to get that 30 minutes of exercise every day because it reduces a great deal of risk factors.”

While their study does not address why women were not getting enough exercise, the authors said research shows that physical activity patterns often begin in childhood.

“Research has shown that around ages 5 or 6 these patterns begin,” Cardinal said. “Parents tend to be more concerned with the safety of girls, and have more restrictive practices around outdoor time and playtime than with boys.”

Loprinzi said this pattern tends to continue into adulthood, and that overall confidence may be a factor.

“Some evidence indicates that women, compared to men, have less confidence in their ability to overcome their exercise-related barriers,” Loprinzi said, adding that women also often cite a lack of time to exercise due to child-rearing.

The researchers have a study coming out that may help those time-challenged women. Loprinzi said he and Cardinal found that adults can still enhance their health by accumulating physical activity in short periods throughout the day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or pacing while talking on the phone.

Media Contact: 

Brad Cardinal, 541-737-2506

OSU doctoral student uses Titanic phenomenon to study importance of dress

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new generation is discovering the history of the Titanic because of the centennial anniversary of the event this April 14-15, the recent release of a 3-D version of a popular film, and museums and exhibits around the country.

People’s appreciation of the history and culture of the sinking of the famous ship can be enhanced through visual representations of the costumes, according to an Oregon State University doctoral student whose dissertation is on the role of dress in the Titanic.

“The ship itself is the icon,” said Genna Reeves-DeArmond, whose studies focus on historic and cultural dress. “But the attraction goes beyond the sinking; it is more than the ship’s demise. The Titanic is representative of a historical moment and clothing is a tangible marker of that moment. The clothes that the passengers wore add a rich layer to the historical knowledge and provide cultural context for museum visitors.”

“The clothing personalizes the history,” she added, “because people today can relate to it. It is a common thread between people of today and a hundred years ago, even though styles have changed.”

In her studies, Reeves-DeArmond is exploring the display of dress artifacts and costumes in Titanic museum exhibits, in the popular film by James Cameron, and in other representations. A self-described “Titaniac,” she became interested in the history of the ship as a young girl, and then fascinated as an eighth-grader in 1997 when Cameron’s “Titanic” came out and would go on to sweep most of the major Academy Awards the following year.

Whether on film or in museums, the role of dress and costumes is important in how people learn about the event, the OSU grad student notes. She has traveled to Titanic museum exhibits in Branson, Mo., Las Vegas, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Orlando, Fla., to study the displays and how people interact with them.

“Through both observations and interviews, it is apparent that people identify with passengers that may be closest to them in terms of social status or occupation,” Reeves-DeArmond said. “And that connection is often made by the clothes the passengers wore. The first-class passengers dressed much differently than the third-class passengers.

“Clothing frequently reveals a lot about a particular time in history,” added Reeves-DeArmond, whose studies are based in Oregon State’s Department of Design and Human Environment. “Class differences obviously still exist, but they were much more evident from clothing then. And clothes can reveal other facets of cultural history, such as the length of a dress and the women’s movement.”

One little-known historical tidbit, Reeves-DeArmond said, is that one of the fashion designers responsible for ridding the corset from women’s wear – “Lucile” Lady Duff Gordon – was aboard the Titanic.

The actual history of the Titanic may be forever mingled with its depiction in print and on film, and for her study Reeves-DeArmond has interviewed museum visitors ranging in age from 20 to 84, some who have seen the film and others who have not. One facet of her dissertation is to explore how viewing “Titanic” contributes to the museum experience.

It can confuse some visitors to museums and exhibits, Reeves-DeArmond pointed out. Cameron’s film, for example, focuses on the love story between Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet), who were fictional characters, but were based on composites of several real passengers.

“They were representative of different classes and that was reflected in their clothing,” Reeves-DeArmond said. “James Cameron’s attention to detail was incredible. But likewise, many of the museums and exhibits have clothing and artifacts that really bring the history alive. The museum in Las Vegas has a pair of men’s pants and shoes that survived under the ocean for decades.”

Films, museums and exhibits increasingly are how many people foster an appreciation of science and history, and Oregon State is a leader in the understanding of this phenomenon, called “free-choice learning.” Reeves-DeArmond says the concept could be enhanced even more if curators of the displays would incorporate more of the clothing, even if it is a replica.

“Clothing is often overlooked in these exhibits,” she said. “One of the Titanic museums I visited had a Marconi replica room, and while it was neat to see the equipment, several visitors told me they would have liked to have seen a uniform – to connect with the person who may have been working in there.”

“Dress is a visual language,” she added, “and it is particularly important in the context of the Titanic. It helps take you back 100 years and visualize the people who survived or perished.”

Media Contact: 

Genna Reeves-DeArmond, 575-571-1671

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Titanic museum at Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Oregon Dance presents annual concert on April 20 and 21

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon Dance, a performance group from Oregon State University, will present its annual spring concert on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, at the Corvallis High School Theater.

Carol Soleau, an associate professor of dance at OSU and the founder and director of Oregon Dance, has created imaginative modern dance works, which includes a performance by her Jazz III class performing a dance to the music of Radiohead. Soleau just celebrated 35 years teaching dance at OSU.

“Java Jitters,” a solo dance performed by OSU student Maryam Baghdadi, is an interpretation of the college experience.

Also on tap is Soleau's “Kinetic Color,” which was originally commissioned by the da Vinci Days festival in 1991. The set consists of three “climbing” walls that mysteriously come to life. Soleau has also received permission to reset "Isle,” a piece originally created in 1984. This duet is set to the music of Henry Purcell and was choreographed by her brother William Soleau. It has been in the repertoire of many national dance companies, and performed in more than 30 countries.

Guest artists for this performance include the Corvallis Academy of Dance and Swathi Subramanian, an Indian classical performer who has performed internationally.

Corvallis High School Theater is at 1400 N.W. Buchanan Ave., Corvallis.

Tickets are $12, $8 for college students and seniors and $6 for elementary through high school students. Tickets are available online and at the door. For online ticketing go to http://www.corvallistheaters.com

The concert is sponsored by the OSU School of Biological and Population Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, OSU Foundation, and the Alonzo and Jennie Bonsal Foundation.

Media Contact: 

Carol Soleau, 541-737-5930

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“Java Jitters,” a solo dance performed by OSU student Maryam Baghdadi, is her interpretation of the college experience. She will perform at Oregon Dance's annual spring concert April 20-21 in Corvallis.

OSU researcher receives career development award from NIH

CORVALLIS, Ore. – An Oregon State University epidemiologist has received a competitive award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) designed to support emerging researchers in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences.

Michelle Odden, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Center for Healthy Aging Research in OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences, received $137,532 for the NIH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award.

Older adults are living longer and healthier lives, yet much of the research on cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention has been derived from younger people. Odden will identify the strongest risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study, an ongoing NIH-funded cohort study of elderly adults.

She will then use a computer simulation of cardiovascular disease to identify the most promising interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention. Her research will account for the unique risks and benefits of cardiovascular prevention in older adults.

Odden holds a doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and came to OSU from a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.

Media Contact: 

Michelle Odden, 541-737-3184

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Michelle Odden

Study: Most weight loss supplements are not effective

CORVALLIS, Ore. – An Oregon State University researcher has reviewed the body of evidence around weight loss supplements and has bad news for those trying to find a magic pill to lose weight and keep it off – it doesn’t exist.

Melinda Manore reviewed the evidence surrounding hundreds of weight loss supplements, a $2.4 billion industry in the United States, and said no research evidence exists that any single product results in significant weight loss – and many have detrimental health benefits.

The study is online in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

A few products, including green tea, fiber and low-fat dairy supplements, can have a modest weight loss benefit of 3-4 pounds (2 kilos), but it is important to know that most of these supplements were tested as part of a reduced calorie diet.

“For most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact,” Manore said.

Manore looked at supplements that fell into four categories: products such as chitosan that block absorption of fat or carbohydrates, stimulants such as caffeine or ephedra that increase metabolism, products such as conjugated linoleic acid that claim to change the body composition by decreasing fat, and appetite suppressants such as soluble fibers.

She found that many products had no randomized clinical trials examining their effectiveness, and most of the research studies did not include exercise. Most of the products showed less than a two-pound weight loss benefit compared to the placebo groups.

“I don’t know how you eliminate exercise from the equation,” Manore said. “The data is very strong that exercise is crucial to not only losing weight and preserving muscle mass, but keeping the weight off.”

Manore, professor of nutrition and exercise sciences at OSU, is on the Science Board for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Her research is focused on the interaction of nutrition and exercise on health and performance.

“What people want is to lose weight and maintain or increase lean tissue mass,” Manore said. “There is no evidence that any one supplement does this. And some have side effects ranging from the unpleasant, such as bloating and gas, to very serious issues such as strokes and heart problems.”

As a dietician and researcher, Manore said the key to weight loss is to eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats, reduce calorie intake of high-fat foods, and to keep moving. Depending on the individual, increasing protein may be beneficial (especially for those trying to not lose lean tissue), but the only way to lose weight is to make a lifestyle change.

“Adding fiber, calcium, protein and drinking green tea can help,” Manore said. “But none of these will have much effect unless you exercise and eat fruits and vegetables.”

Manore’s general guidelines for a healthy lifestyle include:

  • Do not leave the house in the morning without having a plan for dinner. Spontaneous eating often results in poorer food choices.
  • If you do eat out, start your meal with a large salad with low-calorie dressing or a broth-based soup. You will feel much fuller and are less likely to eat your entire entrée. Better yet: split your entrée with a dining companion or just order an appetizer in addition to your soup or salad.
  • Find ways to keep moving, especially if you have a sedentary job. Manore said she tries to put calls on speaker phone so she can walk around while talking. During long meetings, ask if you can stand or pace for periods so you don’t remain seated the entire time
  • Put vegetables into every meal possible. Shred vegetables into your pasta sauce, add them into meat or just buy lots of bags of fruits/vegetables for on-the-go eating.
  • Increase your fiber. Most Americans don’t get nearly enough fiber. When possible, eat “wet” sources of fiber rather than dry – cooked oatmeal makes you feel fuller than a fiber cracker.
  • Make sure to eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of drinking your calories. Eat an apple rather than drink apple juice. Look at items that seem similar and eat the one that physically takes up more space. For example, eating 100 calories of grapes rather than 100 calories of raisins will make you feel fuller.
  • Eliminate processed foods. Manore said research increasingly shows that foods that are harder to digest (such as high fiber foods) have a greater “thermic effect” – or the way to boost your metabolism.
Media Contact: 

Melinda Manore, 541-737-8701

Contraceptive preferences among young Latinos related to decision-making

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Half of the young adult Latino men and women responding to a survey in rural Oregon acknowledge not using regular effective contraception – despite expressing a desire to avoid pregnancy, according to a new Oregon State University study.

Researchers say the low rate of contraception among sexually active 18- to 25-year-olds needs to be addressed – and not just among Latino populations. Research has shown many young adults from all backgrounds eschew contraception for many reasons including the mistaken belief that they or their partners cannot get pregnant.

“The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy calls this ‘magical thinking,’” said Jocelyn Warren, a public health postdoctoral fellow at OSU. “There is this tendency to believe that if you have unprotected sex once and nothing happens, somehow you are incapable of getting pregnant. It is a widespread issue and certainly not just applicable to our study of rural Latinos.”

Widening the scope of earlier work on the contraceptive practices of rural Latinos, the researchers asked questions about cultural and relationship characteristics whose possible links to contraceptive use had not been previously explored within this population.

The OSU study of 450 sexually active Latino men and women found that more involvement in sexual decision-making was important in contraception use – and increased the likelihood of using male condoms, rather than birth control pills or no method at all. While effective at preventing pregnancy, birth control pills don’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases, the researchers point out.

“People who reported being active decision-makers in their relationship tended to use male condoms, which makes sense because using a condom means that both partners have to agree,” said Warren, lead author on the study. “The importance of including men in delivering contraception services and family planning may strengthen effective use because women do not make these decisions alone.”

Another important finding from the study, which was published in the December issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, showed that the less acculturated participants were, the more likely they were to use an effective female method rather than no effective method

Marie Harvey, professor of public health at OSU and one of the study’s co-authors, said this study adds to the growing body of research that points to the need for sexual health research and interventions to be couple-oriented.

“Isolating and targeting women only is not entirely effective,” she said. “Programs and services aimed at preventing unintended pregnancy need to include men because we repeatedly find that women do not make decisions about contraception use on their own, and they do not always have the power in a relationship and this needs to be taken into account.”

Marit Bovbjerg, a postdoctoral fellow at OSU, also contributed to this study, which was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Media Contact: 

Jocelyn Warren, 541-737-1387

Garden research program for teens holds recruitment meetings

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Teens interested in participating in a garden-based Oregon State University research project called Producing for the Future can sign up now for limited placements in Corvallis and Sweet Home.

Participants will earn up to $1,200 for completing the program, which runs from February through August, and will spend up to 10 hours per week learning basic research skills, working in the gardens and handling produce sales. Low-income persons ages 16-20 are invited to apply.

Recruitment meetings will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at Westside Community Church, 4000 S.W. Western Blvd., Corvallis, and from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Sweet Home United Methodist Church, 845 6th Ave., Sweet Home.

The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health to explore health benefits of community-based garden programs.

“Our gardeners are getting lots of physical exercise and access to healthy foods,” said Leslie Richards, assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and leader of the program. “We focus on building a supportive community, learning how to grow vegetables organically, and preparing foods grown in the garden.”

The gardens are located at two local churches, Westside Community Church in southwest Corvallis and Sweet Home United Methodist Church, and have been in operation for a year.

Richards said participants will harvest produce for sale at local farmers' markets and other customer-direct avenues.

“Learning business planning and marketing strategies are also part of the project,” she said. “This project uses a Community Based Participatory Research design, which means that participants are both research subjects and researchers, giving them additional skills in deciding what to measure to document outcomes.”

To qualify, participants must earn less than two times the poverty level. For a single person, this means earning less than $1,815, or for a family of four, less than $3,725.

Adults can participate as nonpaid volunteers. For information, visit http://health.oregonstate.edu/producing-for-the-future

Media Contact: 

Leslie Richards, 888-478-3011

Key to school improvement: reading, writing, arithmetic……. and character?

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A study of 20 elementary schools in Hawaii has found that a focused program to build social, emotional and character skills resulted in significantly improved overall quality of education, as evaluated by teachers, parents and students.

The concept includes organized activities to build character that go beyond more traditional rules or policies to control or punish problem behaviors. But it still takes only about an hour a week away from traditional education, and previous research has documented much lower numbers of suspensions, lower absenteeism, and better reading and math scores on standardized tests.

The latest study, being published by researchers from Oregon State University in the Journal of School Health, found for the first time that teachers believed this approach improved “overall school quality” by 21 percent, with parents and students agreeing in slightly smaller numbers. It was based on findings from racially and ethnically diverse schools, half using the program and half that did not.

“Improved social and character skills leave more time for teachers to teach, and students to learn and be more motivated,” said Brian Flay, an OSU professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences. “What we’re finding now is that we can really address some of the concerns in our schools by focusing more on character in the classroom.

“These are not new concepts, they’re the kind of things that have always been discussed in families, church and social groups,” Flay said. “A third-grade lesson, for instance, might be helping kids to understand how other people feel, to learn about empathy. That may seem simple, but in terms of educational performance it’s important.”

School quality, as defined in this research, includes a safe environment, involvement and satisfaction among individuals, student support, continuous improvement, standards-based learning and other features.

Past policies to curtail substance abuse, violent behavior and other problems have shown only limited results, researchers said in the study, in part because they don’t address underlying issues such as student’s sense of self and social attachment. The new trend being explored is what they call social-emotional and character development.

The program used in this research includes K-12 classroom curricula, a school-wide climate development component, teacher and staff training, parent and community involvement, continued positive reinforcement and other techniques.

Lessons include topics related to self-concept, physical and intellectual actions, managing oneself responsibly, getting along with others, being honest, and self-improvement.

The results have been impressive. Previously published results showed 72 percent fewer suspensions, 15 percent less absenteeism, and much better reading and math skills based on state tests. National tests showed a 9 percent improvement in these academic subjects.

“The current research supports the hypothesis that these programs can generate whole-school change and improve school safety and quality,” the researchers wrote in their report. “The present study shows improvements in school quality were made by relatively underperforming schools.”

The findings suggest that schools, districts, states and the federal government should consider policies and funding directed toward social and character programs of this type, the researchers said.

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Study: Physical activity impacts overall quality of sleep

CORVALLIS, Ore. – People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.

A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.

The study, out in the December issue of the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity, lends more evidence to mounting research showing the importance of exercise to a number of health factors. Among adults in the United States, about 35 to 40 percent of the population has problems with falling asleep or with daytime sleepiness.

“We were using the physical activity guidelines set forth for cardiovascular health, but it appears that those guidelines might have a spillover effect to other areas of health,” said Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise science at Oregon State University and one of the study’s authors.

“Increasingly, the scientific evidence is encouraging as regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep.”

After controlling for age, BMI (Body Mass Index), health status, smoking status, and depression, the relative risk of often feeling overly sleepy during the day compared to never feeling overly sleepy during the day decreased by 65 percent for participants meeting physical activity guidelines.

Similar results were also found for having leg cramps while sleeping (68 percent less likely) and having difficulty concentrating when tired (45 percent decrease).

Paul Loprinzi, an assistant professor at Bellarmine University is lead author of the study, which was conducted while he was a doctoral student in Cardinal’s lab at OSU. He said it is the first study to examine the relationship between accelerometer-measured physical activity and sleep while utilizing a nationally representative sample of adults of all ages.

‘Our findings demonstrate a link between regular physical activity and perceptions of sleepiness during the day, which suggests that participation in physical activity on a regular basis may positively influence an individual's productivity at work, or in the case of a student, influence their ability to pay attention in class,” he said.

Cardinal said past studies linking physical activity and sleep used only self-reports of exercise. The danger with this is that many people tend to overestimate the amount of activity they do, he said.

He added that the take-away for consumers is to remember that exercise has a number of health benefits, and that can include helping feel alert and awake.

“Physical activity may not just be good for the waistline and heart, but it also can help you sleep,” Cardinal said. “There are trade-offs. It may be easier when you are tired to skip the workout and go to sleep, but it may be beneficial for your long-term health to make the hard decision and get your exercise.”

Media Contact: 

Brad Cardinal, 541-737-2506

Report: Oregon child care costs rising dramatically as wages fail to keep up

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The cost of child care in Oregon has risen dramatically even as wages remained flat or increased slightly over the past decade, resulting in what researchers are calling a crisis for families.

According to a new report looking at child care in the state and in every Oregon county, child care prices increased 7 percent more than family incomes from 2004 to 2010. And for single parents, the situation is more serious: their child care prices increased 14 more than their incomes during that same period.

The average cost of toddler care in a child care center in Oregon is now $10,392, almost $4,000 more than the average annual cost of college tuition in the state.

Furthermore, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies lists Oregon as the seventh most expensive state for child care in the nation, with Massachusetts ranking highest. In 36 states, the average annual cost for center-based care for an infant was higher than a year’s tuition at a four-year public college.

“This issue of affordability is huge,” said Bobbie Weber, a faculty research associate in the Family Policy Program at Oregon State University and author of the report along with Becky Vorpagel, an independent consultant for the Oregon Child Care Resource and Referral Network.

 “Families are facing serious challenges, and they want to do the right thing for their children, but faced with these unbearable costs, they do what they can to make it work.”

Survey findings show more low-income families are using free child care services, including asking relatives or friends to look after their children. For those who do not have a viable free option, it can mean making tough decisions.

“High quality care, which involves little or no screen time, healthy food, a ton of physical exercise and many activities that support cognitive and social development, is what parents want for their children,” Weber said. “The cost of getting quality care and education is not possible for many Oregonians, including many in the middle class.”

“Families making under $28,000 a year are spending 29 percent of their income just on child care, compared to families at the top income bracket who spend 7 percent of their income,” she said. “The care is the same price for everyone, and a family of three who makes around $34,000 often find themselves in a difficult situation of choosing between work and quality care for their children.”

While there are subsidies available for those earning up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level, parents have to pay part of their subsidies and that amount rises as incomes rise. Weber said in some cases, the co-pay is more than the child care itself.  Budget cuts continue to constrain how many families can be served.

Weber is a member of the Gov. John Kitzhaber’s Early Learning Council, which has been tasked to design the most effective early-childhood education system, one that will ensure children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn. Weber said child care is one of the many issues related to early childhood that the council is tackling.

A full report on each county in Oregon can be found at: http://health.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/sbhs/pdf/occrp-state--county-profiles-2010.pdf

Some of the county findings include:

  • The most expensive county in Oregon for child care was Washington County, where the average cost was $11,880 for toddler care. Benton and Multnomah counties followed closely as the most expensive.
  • Rural counties in general suffer from a lack of resources. Many rural areas do not have enough family day care providers or child care centers to meet the needs of the communities.
  • In the average child care center, teachers earn between $9 and $13 an hour, even though many have post-secondary education in their field. Finding qualified workers willing to work for near-minimum wage salaries poses a challenge for centers.
  • More than half of parents reported that their children did not get a lot of individual attention in their child care and 46 percent said the arrangement was not ideal for their child. Almost 19 percent said their children do not feel safe and secure at their daycare facility.
  • The average minimum wage worker is spending almost 60 percent of their income on child care.
  • Low-income families are finding ways to not pay for child care, with a 7 percent drop since 2004 in those who report using paid care. However, the amount of children and low-income families in Oregon has risen during that same time.
Media Contact: 

Bobbie Weber, 541-737-9243