Outcomes of an early feeding practices intervention to prevent childhood obesity

Daniels, Lynne, Mallan, Kimberley Margaret, Nicholson, Jan Maree, Battistutta, Diana, & Magarey, Anthea (2013) Outcomes of an early feeding practices intervention to prevent childhood obesity. Pediatrics, 132(1), e109-e118.

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  • Use a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate outcomes of a universal intervention to promote protective feeding practices, which commenced in infancy and aimed to prevent childhood obesity

Subjects and Methods

  • The NOURISH RCT enrolled 698 first-time mothers (mean age 30.1 years, SD=5.3) with healthy term infants (51% female) aged 4.3 (SD=1.0) months at baseline. Mothers were randomly allocated to self-directed access to usual care or to attend two 6-session interactive group education modules that provided anticipatory guidance on early feeding practices. Outcomes were assessed six months after completion of the second information module, 20 months from baseline and when the children were two years old. Maternal feeding practices were self-reported using validated questionnaires and study-developed items. Study-measured child height and weight were used to calculate BMI Z-score.


  • Retention at follow-up was 78%. Mothers in the intervention group reported using responsive feeding more frequently on 6/9 subscales and 8/8 items (Ps ≤.03) and overall less ‘controlling feeding practices’ (P<.001). They also more frequently used feeding practices (3/4 items; Ps <.01) likely to enhance food acceptance. No statistically significant differences were noted in anthropometric outcomes (BMI Z-score: P=.11), nor in prevalence of overweight/obesity (control 17.9% vs. intervention 13.8%, P=.23).


  • Evaluation of NOURISH at child age two years found that anticipatory guidance on complementary feeding, tailored to developmental stage, increased use by first-time mothers of 'protective' feeding practices that potentially support the development of healthy eating and growth patterns in young children.

Impact and interest:

42 citations in Scopus
39 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 61069
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Articles free to read on journal website after 12 months
Keywords: childhood obesity
DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-2882
ISSN: 1098-4275
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics
Deposited On: 02 Jul 2013 22:49
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2016 00:07

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