Because parental recognition of overweight in young children is poor, we need to determine how best to inform parents that their child is overweight in a way that enhances their acceptance and supports motivation for positive change. This study will assess 1) whether weight feedback delivered using motivational interviewing increases parental acceptance of their child's weight status and enhances motivation for behaviour change, and 2) whether a family-based individualised lifestyle intervention, delivered primarily by a MInT mentor with limited support from "expert" consultants in psychology, nutrition and physical activity, can improve weight outcomes after 12 and 24 months in young overweight children, compared with usual care.
1500 children aged 4-8 years will be screened for overweight (height, weight, waist, blood pressure, body composition). Parents will complete questionnaires on feeding practices, physical activity, diet, parenting, motivation for healthy lifestyles, and demographics. Parents of children classified as overweight (BMI ≥ CDC 85th) will receive feedback about the results using Motivational interviewing or Usual care. Parental responses to feedback will be assessed two weeks later and participants will be invited into the intervention. Additional baseline measurements (accelerometry, diet, quality of life, child behaviour) will be collected and families will be randomised to Tailored package or Usual care. Parents in the Usual care condition will meet once with an advisor who will offer general advice regarding healthy eating and activity. Parents in the Tailored package condition will attend a single session with an "expert team" (MInT mentor, dietitian, physical activity advisor, clinical psychologist) to identify current challenges for the family, develop tailored goals for change, and plan behavioural strategies that best suit each family. The mentor will continue to provide support to the family via telephone and in-person consultations, decreasing in frequency over the two-year intervention. Outcome measures will be obtained at baseline, 12 and 24 months.
This trial offers a unique opportunity to identify effective ways of providing feedback to parents about their child's weight status and to assess the efficacy of a supportive, individualised early intervention to improve weight outcomes in young children.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000749202
Prevention of childhood obesity is a public health priority. Parents influence a child’s weight by modeling healthy behaviors, controlling food availability and activity opportunities, and appropriate feeding practices. Thus interventions should target education and behavioral change in the parent, and positive, mutually reinforcing behaviors within the family.
This paper presents the design, rationale and baseline characteristics of Kids and Adults Now! – Defeat Obesity (KAN-DO), a randomized controlled behavioral intervention trial targeting weight maintenance in children of healthy weight, and weight reduction in overweight children. 400 children aged 2–5 and their overweight or obese mothers in the Triangle and Triad regions of North Carolina are randomized equally to control or the KAN-DO intervention, consisting of mailed family kits encouraging healthy lifestyle change. Eight (monthly) kits are supported by motivational counseling calls and a single group session. Mothers are targeted during a hypothesized “teachable moment” for health behavior change (the birth of a new baby), and intervention content addresses: parenting skills (emotional regulation, authoritative parenting), healthy eating, and physical activity.
The 400 mother-child dyads randomized to trial are 75% white and 22% black; 19% have a household income of $30,000 or below. At baseline, 15% of children are overweight (85th–95th percentile for body mass index) and 9% are obese (≥95th percentile).
This intervention addresses childhood obesity prevention by using a family-based, synergistic approach, targeting at-risk children and their mothers during key transitional periods, and enhancing maternal self-regulation and responsive parenting as a foundation for health behavior change.
Overweight; obesity; randomized controlled trial; parenting; children; postpartum period
To investigate parents’ perceptions of weight status in children and to explore parental understanding of and attitudes to childhood overweight.
Questionnaires and focus groups within a longitudinal study.
536 parents of Gateshead Millennium Study children, of which 27 attended 6 focus groups.
Main outcome measures
Parents’ perception of their child’s weight status according to actual weight status as defined by International Obesity Taskforce (IOTF) cut-offs. Focus group outcomes included parental awareness of childhood overweight nationally and parental approaches to identifying overweight children.
The sensitivity of parents recognising if their child was overweight was 0.31. Prevalence of child overweight was underestimated: 7.3% of children were perceived as ‘overweight’ or ‘very overweight’ by their parents, 23.7% were identified as overweight or obese using IOTF criteria. 69.3% of parents of overweight or obese children identified their child as being of ‘normal’ weight. During focus groups parents demonstrated an awareness of childhood overweight being a problem nationally but their understanding of how it is defined was limited. Parents used alternative approaches to objective measures when identifying overweight in children such as visual assessments and comparisons with other children. Such approaches relied heavily on extreme and exceptional cases as a reference point. The apparent lack of relevance of childhood overweight to their child’s school or own community along with scepticism towards both media messages and clinical measures commonly emerged as grounds for failing to engage with the issue at a personal level.
Parents’ ability to identify when their child was overweight according to standard criteria was limited. Parents did not understand, use or trust clinical measures and used alternative approaches primarily reliant on extreme cases. Such approaches underpinned their reasoning for remaining detached from the issue. This study highlights the need to identify methods of improving parental recognition of and engagement with the problem of childhood overweight.
Qualitative Research; Parents; Child; Perception; Overweight; Obesity
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:
Most clinic-based weight control treatments for youth have been designed for preadolescent children by using family-based care. However, as adolescents become more autonomous and less motivated by parental influence, this strategy may be less appropriate. This study evaluated a primary care–based, multicomponent lifestyle intervention specifically tailored for overweight adolescent females.
Adolescent girls (N = 208) 12 to 17 years of age (mean ± SD: 14.1 ± 1.4 years), with a mean ± SD BMI percentile of 97.09 ± 2.27, were assigned randomly to the intervention or usual care control group. The gender and developmentally tailored intervention included a focus on adoptable healthy lifestyle behaviors and was reinforced by ongoing feedback from the teen’s primary care physician. Of those randomized, 195 (94%) completed the 6-month posttreatment assessment, and 173 (83%) completed the 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome was reduction in BMI z score.
The decrease in BMI z score over time was significantly greater for intervention participants compared with usual care participants (−0.15 in BMI z score among intervention participants compared with −0.08 among usual care participants; P = .012). The 2 groups did not differ in secondary metabolic or psychosocial outcomes. Compared with usual care, intervention participants reported less reduction in frequency of family meals and less fast-food intake.
A 5-month, medium-intensity, primary care–based, multicomponent behavioral intervention was associated with significant and sustained decreases in BMI z scores among obese adolescent girls compared with those receiving usual care.
adolescent obesity; behavioral intervention; primary care; randomized controlled trial; weight management
To ascertain whether a parent education program based on Satter’s division of responsibility in feeding children (DOR) is effective in enhancing parent/child feeding interactions for children with an overweight/obese parent. The primary hypothesis was that the intervention would decrease parental pressure to eat.
Sixty-two families with a child aged 2–4 years with at least one overweight/obese parent were randomly allocated using a cluster design to either the DOR intervention or a control group. The control group focused on increasing family consumption of healthy foods and activity levels, and enhancing child sleep duration. The primary outcome was parent pressure on their child to eat.
The DOR intervention was superior to the control group in reducing pressure to eat. Two moderators of pressure to eat were found: disinhibition of eating and hunger. DOR group parents irrespective of disinhibition levels lowered pressure to eat whereas control group parents with low disinhibition increased pressure to eat. There were similar findings for hunger. Gender moderated restrictive feeding with DOR parents lowering restriction more than the control group in girls only.
The DOR intervention was more effective in reducing parent pressure to eat and food restriction (in girls only) than the control group.
child feeding problems; pressure to eat; restrictive feeding; responsive feeding; Satter method
An overweight prevention protocol was used in the ‘Be active, eat right’ study; parents of overweight children (5 years) were offered healthy lifestyle counseling by youth health care professionals. Effects of the protocol on child BMI and waist circumference at age 7 years were evaluated.
A cluster RCT was conducted among nine youth health care centers in the Netherlands. Parents of overweight, not obese, children received lifestyle counseling and motivational interviewing according to the overweight prevention protocol in the intervention condition (n = 349) and usual care in the control condition (n = 288). Measurements were made of child height, weight and waist circumference at baseline and at a two-year follow-up; parents completed questionnaires regarding demographic characteristics. Linear mixed models were applied; interaction terms were explored.
The analyzed population consisted of 38.1% boys; mean age 5.7 [sd: 0.4] years; mean BMI 18.1 [sd: 0.6], the median number of counseling sessions in the intervention condition was 2. The regression model showed no significant difference in BMI increase between the research conditions at follow-up (beta −0.16; 95% CI:−0.60 to 0.27; p = 0.463). There was a significant interaction between baseline BMI and research condition; children with a baseline BMI of 17.25 and 17.50 had a smaller increase in BMI at follow-up when allocated to the intervention condition compared to control condition (estimated adjusted mean difference −0.67 [se: 0.30] and −0.52 [se: 0.36]).
Mildly overweight children (baseline BMI 17.25 and 17.50) in the intervention condition showed a significantly smaller increase in BMI at follow-up compared to the control condition; there was no overall difference between intervention and control condition. Future research may explore and evaluate improvements of the prevention protocol.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN04965410
Background. Antiobesity interventions have generally failed. Research now suggests that interventions must be informed by an understanding of the social environment. Objective. To examine if new social networks form between families participating in a group-level pediatric obesity prevention trial. Methods. Latino parent-preschool child dyads (N = 79) completed the 3-month trial. The intervention met weekly in consistent groups to practice healthy lifestyles. The control met monthly in inconsistent groups to learn about school readiness. UCINET and SIENA were used to examine network dynamics. Results. Children's mean age was 4.2 years (SD = 0.9), and 44% were overweight/obese (BMI ≥ 85th percentile). Parents were predominantly mothers (97%), with a mean age of 31.4 years (SD = 5.4), and 81% were overweight/obese (BMI ≥ 25). Over the study, a new social network evolved among participating families. Parents selectively formed friendship ties based on child BMI z-score, (t = 2.08; P < .05). This reveals the tendency for mothers to form new friendships with mothers whose children have similar body types. Discussion. Participating in a group-level intervention resulted in new social network formation. New ties were greatest with mothers who had children of similar body types. This finding might contribute to the known inability of parents to recognize child overweight.
As the rate of overweight among children is rising there is a need for evidence-based research that will clarify what the best interventional strategies to normalize weight development are. The overall aim of the Lund Overweight and Obesity Preschool Study (LOOPS) is to evaluate if a family-based intervention, targeting parents of preschool children with overweight and obesity, has a long-term positive effect on weight development of the children. The hypothesis is that preschool children with overweight and obesity, whose parents participate in a one-year intervention, both at completion of the one-year intervention and at long term follow up (2-, 3- and 5-years) will have reduced their BMI-for-age z-score.
The study is a randomized controlled trial, including overweight (n=160) and obese (n=80) children 4-6-years-old. The intervention is targeting the parents, who get general information about nutrition and exercise recommendations through a website and are invited to participate in a group intervention with the purpose of supporting them to accomplish preferred lifestyle changes, both in the short and long term. To evaluate the effect of various supports, the parents are randomized to different interventions with the main focus of: 1) supporting the parents in limit setting by emphasizing the importance of positive interactions between parents and children and 2) influencing the patterns of daily activities to induce alterations of everyday life that will lead to healthier lifestyle. The primary outcome variable, child BMI-for-age z-score will be measured at referral, inclusion, after 6 months, at the end of intervention and at 2-, 3- and 5-years post intervention. Secondary outcome variables, measured at inclusion and at the end of intervention, are child activity pattern, eating habits and biochemical markers as well as parent BMI, exercise habits, perception of health, experience of parenthood and level of parental stress.
The LOOPS project will provide valuable information on how to build effective interventions to influence an unhealthy weight development to prevent the negative long-term effects of childhood obesity.
Overweight; Obesity; Preschool; Child; Parent; Intervention study
There are disproportionately higher rates of overweight and obesity in poor rural communities but studies exploring children’s health-related behaviors that may assist in designing effective interventions are limited. We examined the association between overweight and obesity prevalence of 401 ethnically/racially diverse, rural school-aged children and healthy-lifestyle behaviors: improving diet quality, obtaining adequate sleep, limiting screen-time viewing, and consulting a physician about a child’s weight.
A cross-sectional analysis was conducted on a sample of school-aged children (6–11 years) in rural regions of California, Kentucky, Mississippi, and South Carolina participating in CHANGE (Creating Healthy, Active, and Nurturing Growing-up Environments) Program, created by Save the Children, an independent organization that works with communities to improve overall child health, with the objective to reduce unhealthy weight gain in these school-aged children (grades 1–6) in rural America. After measuring children’s height and weight, we17 assessed overweight and obesity (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) associations with these behaviors: improving diet quality18 (≥ 2 servings of fruits and vegetables/day), reducing whole milk, sweetened beverage consumption/day; obtaining19 adequate night-time sleep on weekdays (≥ 10 hours/night); limiting screen-time (i.e., television, video, computer,20 videogame) viewing on weekdays (≤ 2 hours/day); and consulting a physician about weight. Analyses were adjusted 21 for state of residence, children's race/ethnicity, gender, age, and government assistance.
Overweight or obesity prevalence was 37 percent in Mississippi and nearly 60 percent in Kentucky. Adjusting for covariates, obese children were twice as likely to eat ≥ 2 servings of vegetables per day (OR=2.0,95% CI 1.1-3.4), less likely to consume whole milk (OR=0.4,95% CI 0.2-0.70), Their parents are more likely to be told by their doctor that their child was obese (OR=108.0,95% CI 21.9-541.6), and less likely to report talking to their child about fruits and vegetables a lot/sometimes vs. not very much/never (OR=0.4, 95%CI 0.2-0.98) compared to the parents of healthy-weight children.
Rural children are not meeting recommendations to improve diet, reduce screen time and obtain adequate sleep. Although we expected obese children to be more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, we found the opposite to be true. It is possible that these groups of respondent parents were highly aware of their weight status and have been advised to change their children’s health behaviors. Perhaps given the opportunity to participate in an intervention study in combination with a physician recommendation could have resulted in actual behavior change.
Obesity; Children; Rural; Diet; Physical activity; Vulnerable populations; Healthy lifestyle behaviors
To examine maternal beliefs and practices related to weight status, child feeding, and child overweight in the Latino culture that may contribute to the rising rates of overweight among preschool Latino children in the U.S.
Design and sample
This two-phase qualitative study relies on data obtained in 6 focus groups with a total of 31 primarily Spanish-speaking, low income mothers, followed by 20 individual, in-depth interviews with women participating in a health promotion educational program.
Child-feeding beliefs, practices and weight status perceptions were elicited.
Findings indicated that most respondents reported personal struggles with weight gain, particularly during and after pregnancy, and were concerned that their children would become obese. Although subjects understood the health and social consequences related to overweight, many discussed the pressures of familial and cultural influences endorsing a “chubby child.”
Education and interventions that incorporate “culturally mediated” pathways to address mothers’ feeding practices are essential for prevention and control of childhood overweight among low-income Latinos. Nurses should be aware of social and cultural influences on Latina mothers’ beliefs and practices related to weight status and feeding practices and address these in their education approaches to prevent childhood overweight and obesity with this population group.
childhood overweight; Latino; beliefs; feeding practices
Effective programs to help children manage their weight are required. Families for Health focuses on a parenting approach, designed to help parents develop their parenting skills to support lifestyle change within the family. Families for Health V1 showed sustained reductions in overweight after 2 years in a pilot evaluation, but lacks a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evidence base.
This is a multi-center, investigator-blind RCT, with parallel economic evaluation, with a 12-month follow-up. The trial will recruit 120 families with at least one child aged 6 to 11 years who is overweight (≥91st centile BMI) or obese (≥98th centile BMI) from three localities and assigned randomly to Families for Health V2 (60 families) or the usual care control (60 families) groups. Randomization will be stratified by locality (Coventry, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton).
Families for Health V2 is a family-based intervention run in a community venue. Parents/carers and children attend parallel groups for 2.5 hours weekly for 10 weeks. The usual care arm will be the usual support provided within each NHS locality.
A mixed-methods evaluation will be carried out. Child and parent participants will be assessed at home visits at baseline, 3-month (post-treatment) and 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome measure is the change in the children’s BMI z-scores at 12 months from the baseline. Secondary outcome measures include changes in the children’s waist circumference, percentage body fat, physical activity, fruit/vegetable consumption and quality of life. The parents’ BMI and mental well-being, family eating/activity, parent–child relationships and parenting style will also be assessed.
Economic components will encompass the measurement and valuation of service utilization, including the costs of running Families for Health and usual care, and the EuroQol EQ-5D health outcomes. Cost-effectiveness will be expressed in terms of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year gained. A de novo decision-analytic model will estimate the lifetime cost-effectiveness of the Families for Health program.
Process evaluation will document recruitment, attendance and drop-out rates, and the fidelity of Families for Health delivery. Interviews with up to 24 parents and children from each arm will investigate perceptions and changes made.
This paper describes our protocol to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a parenting approach for managing childhood obesity and presents challenges to implementation.
Current Controlled Trials http://ISRCTN45032201
Childhood obesity; Weight management; Parenting; Randomized controlled trial; Economic evaluation
Many studies have found that parents of overweight children do not perceive their child to be overweight. Little is known, however, about the extent to which such misperceptions exist among parents of preschool-aged children.
We analyzed data that were collected in 2004-2005 from parents of 593 preschool-aged children in 20 child care centers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, metropolitan area. Parents were asked how they would classify their preschooler's weight, and children's height and weight were measured.
Of the predominantly white, educated sample, most parents (90.7%) of overweight preschoolers classified their child as normal weight. An even higher percentage (94.7%) of children at risk for overweight were classified as normal weight by their parents. Most parents of normal-weight children classified their child's weight as average. However, 16.0% classified their normal-weight child as underweight or very underweight.
Results indicate that parents are unlikely to recognize childhood overweight among preschool-aged children, which is concerning because parents of overweight children may be unlikely to engage in obesity prevention efforts for their child if they do not recognize their child's risk status. A notable proportion of parents of normal-weight children perceived their child to be underweight, which suggests that parents of normal-weight children may be more concerned with undernutrition than overnutrition.
Overweight and obesity is a growing problem in Ireland. Many parents are unaware when their child is overweight or obese. Our objectives were to examine parents’ perceptions of a healthy diet and their children’s BMI; and to evaluate the food offered to children in our paediatric in-patient unit.
A retrospective questionnaire was distributed to 95 patients and their families admitted over one month. Seventy-eight had BMI values calculated (42 males, 36 females). Twenty-one children (26.9%) were overweight/obese: 14/21 parents (66.7%) thought their child had a normal weight. Sixty percent of children served dinner in the hospital were given fried potatoes. Four had fruit/vegetables. Forty-six parents brought food into hospital, of these 14 brought purchased food.
This study highlights the problem of child obesity in Ireland and parental underestimation of this problem. The nutritional value of food served to children in hospital needs to be improved and hospital admissions used as opportunities to promote healthy eating habits.
Overweight; Obesity; Children; Hospital; Nutrition
The objective of this paper is to assess parental beliefs and intentions about genetic testing for their children in a multi-ethnic population with the aim of acquiring information to guide interventions for obesity prevention and management. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in parents of native Dutch children and children from a large minority population (Turks) selected from Youth Health Care registries. The age range of the children was 5–11 years. Parents with lower levels of education and parents of non-native children were more convinced that overweight has a genetic cause and their intentions to test the genetic predisposition of their child to overweight were firmer. A firmer intention to test the child was associated with the parents’ perceptions of their child’s susceptibility to being overweight, a positive attitude towards genetic testing, and anticipated regret at not having the child tested while at risk for overweight. Interaction effects were found in ethnic and socio-economic groups. Ethnicity and educational level play a role in parental beliefs about child overweight and genetic testing. Education programmes about obesity risk, genetic testing and the importance of behaviour change should be tailored to the cultural and behavioural factors relevant to ethnic and socio-economic target groups.
Genetics; Attitude; Health promotion; Obesity; Child
The High 5 for Preschool Kids (H5-KIDS) program tested the effectiveness of a home based intervention to teach parents how to ensure a positive fruit-vegetable (FV) environment for their preschool child, and to examine whether changes in parent behavior were associated with improvements in child intake.
A group randomized nested cohort design was conducted (2001 to 2006) in rural, southeast Missouri with 1306 parents and their children participating in Parents As Teachers, a national parent education program.
When compared to control parents, H5-KIDS parents reported an increase in FV servings (MN=.20, p=.05), knowledge and availability of FV within the home (p=.01), and decreased their use of noncoercive feeding practices (p=.02). Among preschoolers, FV servings increased in normal weight (MN=.35, p=.02) but not overweight children (MN=-.10, p=.48), relative to controls. Parent’s change in FV servings was a significant predictor of child’s change in FV in the H5-KIDS group (p=.001).
H5-KIDS suggests the need for, and promise of, early home intervention for childhood obesity prevention. It demonstrates the importance of participatory approaches in developing externally valid interventions, with the potential for dissemination across national parent education programs as a means for improving the intake of parents and young children.
Fruit and vegetable intake; Home based program; Noncoercive parenting practices; Obesity prevention; Preschool children; Randomized control trial
Examine health of preschoolers by BMI status.
A cross-sectional analysis of children 3 to 5 years old in the 1999–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was carried out. The measured age- and sex-specific BMI percentiles were used to categorize children as very obese, obese, overweight, or healthy weight. The authors used logistic regression to examine the effect of weight status on 17 available measures of current child health potentially related to obesity.
Except for very obese children, weight status had minimal effect on most measures of health for preschool-aged children (n = 2792). Parents of very obese children reported poorer general health and more activity limitations for their children. Additionally, very obese girls had more frequent/severe headaches, and overweight/obese boys had more asthma diagnoses.
Only severe obesity appears consistently related to immediate health problems in preschool-aged children. Parental perception that very obese children have worse health and more activity limitations may lead to decreases in physical activity, which would perpetuate obesity.
cross-sectional design; comorbidities; obesity; overweight; BMI; preschool children
Very few studies have evaluated the association between a child's lifestyle factors and their parent's ability to recognise the overweight status of their offspring. The aim of this study was to analyze the factors associated with a parent's ability to recognise their own offspring's overweight status.
125 overweight children out of all 1,278 school beginners in Northern Finland were enrolled.
Weight and height were measured in health care clinics. Overweight status was defined by BMI according to internationally accepted criteria. A questionnaire to be filled in by parents was delivered by the school nurses. The parents were asked to evaluate their offspring's weight status. The child's eating habits and physical activity patterns were also enquired about. Factor groups of food and physical activity habits were formed by factor analysis. Binary logistic regression was performed using all variables associated with recognition of overweight status in univariate analyses. The significant risk factors in the final model are reported using odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Fifty-seven percent (69/120) of the parents of the overweight children considered their child as normal weight. Child's BMI was positively associated with parental recognition of overweight (OR 3.59, CI 1.8 to 7.0). Overweight boys were less likely to be recognised than overweight girls (OR 0.14, CI 0.033 to 0.58). Child's healthy diet (OR 0.22, CI 0.091 to 0.54) and high physical activity (OR 0.29, CI 0.11 to 0.79) were inversely related to parental recognition of overweight status.
Child's healthy eating habits and physical activity are inversely related to parental recognition of their offspring's overweight. These should be taken into account when planning prevention and treatment strategies for childhood obesity.
overweight status; children; recognition; parents
To characterize the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (KAB) regarding childhood obesity among parents of Latino preschoolers.
Three hundred sixty-nine Mexican immigrant parents of children ages 2–5 were interviewed. Children were weighed and measured.
Parents underestimated their own child’s weight status and had high levels of perceived control over their children’s eating and activity behaviors. Parents of overweight (≥95%ile-for-age-and-sex BMI) versus nonoverweight (<95%ile BMI) children did not differ in their beliefs about ideal child body size.
Latino parents of overweight children did not differ from parents of nonoverweight children with respect to their KAB about childhood obesity.
childhood obesity; health beliefs; Mexican Americans
Reversing the obesity epidemic requires the development and evaluation of childhood obesity intervention programs. Lifestyle Triple P is a parent-focused group program that addresses three topics: nutrition, physical activity, and positive parenting. Australian research has established the efficacy of Lifestyle Triple P, which aims to prevent excessive weight gain in overweight and obese children. The aim of the current randomized controlled trial is to assess the effectiveness of the Lifestyle Triple P intervention when applied to Dutch parents of overweight and obese children aged 4–8 years. This effectiveness study is called GO4fit.
Parents of overweight and obese children are being randomized to either the intervention or the control group. Those assigned to the intervention condition receive the 14-week Lifestyle Triple P intervention, in which they learn a range of nutritional, physical activity and positive parenting strategies. Parents in the control group receive two brochures, web-based tailored advice, and suggestions for exercises to increase active playing at home. Measurements are taken at baseline, directly after the intervention, and at one year follow-up. Primary outcome measure is the children’s body composition, operationalized as BMI z-score, waist circumference, and fat mass (biceps and triceps skinfolds). Secondary outcome measures are children’s dietary behavior and physical activity level, parenting practices, parental feeding style, parenting style, parental self-efficacy, and body composition of family members (parents and siblings).
Our intervention is characterized by a focus on changing general parenting styles, in addition to focusing on changing specific parenting practices, as obesity interventions typically do. Strengths of the current study are the randomized design, the long-term follow-up, and the broad range of both self-reported and objectively measured outcomes.
Current Controlled Trials NTR 2555
NL 31988.068.10 / MEC 10-3-052
More than 20% of US children ages 2-5 yrs are classified as overweight or obese. Parents greatly influence the behaviors their children adopt, including those which impact weight (e.g., diet and physical activity). Unfortunately, parents often fail to recognize the risk for excess weight gain in young children, and may not be motivated to modify behavior. Research is needed to explore intervention strategies that engage families with young children and motivate parents to adopt behaviors that will foster healthy weight development.
This study tests the efficacy of the 35-week My Parenting SOS intervention. The intervention consists of 12 sessions: initial sessions focus on general parenting skills (stress management, effective parenting styles, child behavior management, coparenting, and time management) and later sessions apply these skills to promote healthier eating and physical activity habits. The primary outcome is change in child percent body fat. Secondary measures assess parent and child dietary intake (three 24-hr recalls) and physical activity (accelerometry), general parenting style and practices, nutrition- and activity-related parenting practices, and parent motivation to adopt healthier practices.
Testing of these new approaches contributes to our understanding of how general and weight-specific parenting practices influence child weight, and whether or not they can be changed to promote healthy weight trajectories.
Weight problems that arise in the first years of life tend to persist. Behavioral research in this period can provide information on the modifiable etiology of unhealthy weight. The present study aimed to replicate findings from previous small-scale studies by examining whether different aspects of preschooler’s eating behavior and parental feeding practices are associated with body mass index (BMI) and weight status -including underweight, overweight and obesity- in a population sample of preschool children.
Cross-sectional data on the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire, Child Feeding Questionnaire and objectively measured BMI was available for 4987 four-year-olds participating in a population-based cohort in the Netherlands.
Thirteen percent of the preschoolers had underweight, 8% overweight, and 2% obesity. Higher levels of children’s Food Responsiveness, Enjoyment of Food and parental Restriction were associated with a higher mean BMI independent of measured confounders. Emotional Undereating, Satiety Responsiveness and Fussiness of children as well as parents’ Pressure to Eat were negatively related with children’s BMI. Similar trends were found with BMI categorized into underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity. Part of the association between children’s eating behaviors and BMI was accounted for by parental feeding practices (changes in effect estimates: 20-43%), while children’s eating behaviors in turn explained part of the relation between parental feeding and child BMI (changes in effect estimates: 33-47%).
This study provides important information by showing how young children’s eating behaviors and parental feeding patterns differ between children with normal weight, underweight and overweight. The high prevalence of under- and overweight among preschoolers suggest prevention interventions targeting unhealthy weights should start early in life. Although longitudinal studies are necessary to ascertain causal directions, efforts to prevent or treat unhealthy child weight might benefit from a focus on changing the behaviors of both children and their parents.
Overweight; Underweight; BMI; Eating behavior; Feeding; Parenting; Children
Compare parent-reported preschool- and school-aged children’s eating and leisure-time activity patterns that are proposed to influence energy balance.
Cross-sectional investigation of children, 2 to 12 years, attending a well-visit.
Pediatric private practice/ambulatory pediatric clinic.
One hundred seventy-four children: 49% preschool-aged, 54% female, 28% Hispanic, and 34% overweight/at risk for overweight.
Parent-reported eating/leisure-time behaviors. Height/weight from medical records.
Analyses of covariance/Chi-square tests; significance at P ≤ 0.05.
By parents’ report, preschool-aged children consumed more servings/day of low-fat dairy (2.1 ± 1.6 vs. 1.7 ± 1.5; P <.01), fewer servings/day of sweetened drinks (1.4 ± 1.9 vs. 2.2 ± 2.6; P <.01), and watched fewer hours/day of weekend TV (2.3 ± 1. 3 vs. 2.7 ± 1.3; P <.05) than school-aged children. Fewer preschool-aged children consumed salty (14.0% vs. 26.1%; P <.05) and sweet (16.3% vs. 29.5%; P <.05) snack foods daily, and a greater percentage regularly consumed dinner with a parent (93.0% vs. 80.7%; P <.05), as assessed by parent report.
Conclusions and Implications
Parent-reported children’s eating/leisure-time patterns that may influence energy balance were less healthy in the school-aged children. However, most children did not meet recommendations, irrespective of age/weight. Interventions for meeting recommendations should start with families with preschool-aged children. Future research should focus on identifying factors that might be contributing to increased reporting of problematic food and leisure-time activity patterns in school-aged children.
Children; Preschool; Diet; Leisure-time; Obesity
In most developed countries, maternal employment has increased rapidly. Changing patterns of family life have been suggested to be contributing to the rising prevalence of childhood obesity.
Our primary objective was to examine the relationship between maternal and partner employment and overweight in children aged three years. Our secondary objective was to investigate factors related to early childhood overweight only among mothers in employment.
13113 singleton children aged three years in the Millennium Cohort Study, born between 2000 and 2002 in the United Kingdom, who had complete height/weight data and parental employment histories.
Parents were interviewed when the child was aged 9 months and 3 years and the child's height and weight were measured at 3 years. Overweight (including obesity) was defined by the International Obesity Task Force cut-offs.
23% (3085) of children were overweight at 3 years. Any maternal employment after the child's birth was associated with early childhood overweight (OR [95% CI]; 1.14 [1.00, 1.29]), after adjustment for potential confounding and mediating factors. Children were more likely to be overweight for every 10 hours a mother worked per week (OR [95% CI]; 1.10 [1.04, 1.17]), after adjustment. An interaction with household income revealed that this relationship was only significant for children from households with an annual income of £33,000 ($57,750) or higher. There was no evidence for an association between early childhood overweight and whether or for how many hours the partner worked or with mothers' or partners' duration of employment. These relationships were found to be stronger among mothers in employment. Independent risk factors for early childhood overweight were consistent with the published literature.
Long hours of maternal employment rather than lack of money may impede young children's access to healthy foods and physical activity. Policies supporting work-life balance may help parents reduce potential barriers.
obesity; preschool children; employment; mothers; fathers
Studies have shown that a proportion of children as young as two years are already overweight. This indicates that obesity prevention programs that commence as early as possible and are family-focused are needed. This Healthy Beginnings Trial aims to determine the efficacy of a community-based randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a home visiting intervention in preventing the early onset of childhood overweight and obesity. The intervention will be conducted over the first two years of life to increase healthy feeding behaviours and physical activity, decrease physical inactivity, enhance parent-child interaction, and hence reduce overweight and obesity among children at 2 and 5 years of age in the most socially and economically disadvantaged areas of Sydney, Australia.
This RCT will be conducted with a consecutive sample of 782 first time mothers with their newborn children. Pregnant women who are expecting their first child, and who are between weeks 24 and 34 of their pregnancy, will be invited to participate in the trial at the antenatal clinic. Informed consent will be obtained and participants will then be randomly allocated to the intervention or the control group. The allocation will be concealed by sequentially numbered, sealed opaque envelopes containing a computer generated random number. The intervention comprises eight home visits from a specially trained community nurse over two years and pro-active telephone support between the visits. Main outcomes include a) duration of breastfeeding measured at 6 and 12 months, b) introduction of solids measured at 4 and 6 months, c) nutrition, physical activity and television viewing measured at 24 months, and d) overweight/obesity status at age 2 and 5 years.
The results of this trial will ascertain whether the home based early intervention is effective in preventing the early onset of childhood overweight and obesity. If proved to be effective, it will result in a series of recommendations for policy and practical methods for promoting healthy feeding and physical activity of children in the first two years of life with particular application to families who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
The objective of this study was to assess the predictive value of body mass index (BMI) at earlier ages on risk of overweight/obesity at age of 11 years.
This is a longitudinal study of 907 children from birth to age of 11 years. Predictors include BMI at earlier ages and outcome is overweight/obesity status at age of 11 years. Analyses were adjusted for covariates known to affect BMI.
At 11 years, 17% were overweight and 25% were obese. Children whose BMI was measured as ≥85th percentile once at preschool age had a twofold risk for overweight/obesity at 11 years of age. Risk increased by 11-fold if a child's BMI measured was noted more than once during this age. During early elementary years, if a child's BMI was>85th percentile once, risk for overweight/obesity at 11 years was fivefold and increased by 72-fold if noted more than two times. During late elementary years, if a child's BMI was>85th percentile once, risk for overweight/obesity was 26-fold and increased by 351-fold if noted more than two times. Risk of overweight/obesity at 11 years was noted with higher maternal prepregnancy weight, higher birth weight, female gender and increased television viewing.
Children in higher BMI categories at young ages have a higher risk of overweight/obesity at 11 years of age. Effect size was greater for measurements taken closer to 11 years of age. Pediatricians need to identify children at-risk for adolescent obesity and initiate counseling and intervention at earlier ages.
overweight; obesity; preschool; early elementary; late elementary