A recent study was conducted in
the underprivileged societies of Sydney and involved 667 first-time mothers and
their infants. The mothers were on an average 26 years old and were between the
24th and 34th weeks of pregnancy when recruited for the
study. The participants were divided into two groups; one group received the
interventional health programme while the other group was a control group.
nurse visited the families in the intervention group at home, once at 30-36
weeks' gestation and seven times after birth (at 1, 3, 5, 9, 12, 18 and 24
months) and educated the mothers on healthy infant feeding practices and
importance of physical activity. They advised the mothers on issues like breast
feeding, appropriate timing for the introduction of solid food and family
nutrition. Nurses also discussed any concerns or issues raised by the mothers.
mothers in the control group were given safety promotion materials twice during
the end of two years, researchers measured the body mass index (BMI) of the
children and also evaluated their diet, eating behavior and physical activity. The
BMI of the children in the intervention group was significantly lower.
experts also found a significant improvement in the dietary habits like
intake of more than one serving of vegetables and a decrease in time spent
watching television especially during mealtime among children in the
there was no notable difference between the children in the intervention group
and those in the control group in terms of fruits and junk food consumption and
time spent on outdoor activities.
analysts also found an improvement in the vegetable intake and physical
activities among the mothers in the intervention group.
experts thus concluded that interventional programmes guiding parents on
healthy infant feeding practices and physical activities for their kids are
every essential in preventing childhood obesity. They also add that further
studies are required to analyze the cost efficiency and long-term effects of
such interventions on the child and family.
Effectiveness of home based early intervention on
children's BMI at age 2: randomised controlled trial; Li Ming Wen et al; BMJ 2012; 344 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e3732