News article

Early Obesity Prevention Through Practice-Based Intervention in Infants Aged 0-24 Months

Posted:  Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Impact of Early Practice-Based Intervention on Feeding Pattern and Growth Trajectories of Infants From Birth to 2 Years

Childhood obesity is a major health burden with approximately 9.7% of infants between 0 and 24 months showing high weight-for-recumbent length (≥95th percentile). Excess weight during childhood may be associated with a greater risk of obesity later in life as well as an increased risk of noncommunicable diseases during adulthood. A study published in the Journal of Obesity investigated the impact of early practice-based intervention on infant feeding pattern and growth trajectory.

A total of 232 infants were randomized to either the intervention or the control group. In the intervention group, health care providers conducted sessions based on a previously developed module (Growing Leaps and Bounds) that included verbal, text, and visual advice for parents on infant nutrition, feeding practices, and physical activity. These sessions were conducted over a period of 2 years. In the control group, the sessions focused on logistics and data collection.

Infants in the intervention group were offered less amount of sweetened tea, soda, punch and/or cow’s milk. In addition, the introduction of drink/food except breast milk was delayed in the intervention group. Parents in the intervention group, compared to those in the control group, exerted greater dietary restrictions and were observed to be more active in monitoring the feeding practices of their infants. There was no significant difference in growth trajectory or body size between the two groups although the intervention group exhibited more adverse socioeconomic indicators at baseline.

The study concluded that early educational intervention along with follow-up phone calls by health care providers may alter parental behaviour and increase the sense of responsibility towards child feeding practices. Such an intervention may be an important element of a multilevel approach towards combating early obesity.

News Source: Schroeder N, Rushovich B, Bartlett E, et al. Early Obesity Prevention: A Randomized Trial of a Practice-Based Intervention in 0–24-Month Infants. Journal of Obesity. 2015;2015:1-7.