An early feeding practices intervention for obesity prevention

Daniels, Lynne, Mallan, Kimberley M., Nicholson, Jan, Thorpe, Karen J., Nambiar, Smita, Mauch, Chelsea E., & Magarey, Anthea M. (2015) An early feeding practices intervention for obesity prevention. Pediatrics, 136(1), e40-e49.

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  • Report long term outcomes of the NOURISH randomized controlled trial (RCT) that evaluated a universal intervention commencing in infancy to provide anticipatory guidance to first-time mothers on ‘protective’ complementary feeding practices which were hypothesized to reduce childhood obesity risk.

Subjects and Methods

  • The NOURISH RCT enrolled 698 mothers (mean age 30.1 years, SD=5.3) with healthy term infants (51% female). Mothers were randomly allocated to usual care or to attend two 6-session, 12-week group education modules. Outcomes were assessed five times: baseline (infants 4.3 months); 6 months after module 1 (infants 14 months); 6 months after module 2 (infants 2 years) and at 3.5 and 5 years of age. Maternal feeding practices were self-reported using validated questionnaires. BMI Z-score was calculated from measured child height and weight. Linear Mixed Models evaluated intervention (group) effect across time.


  • Retention at 5 years of age was 61%. Across ages 2-5 years, intervention mothers reported less frequent use of non-responsive feeding practices on 6/9 scales. At 5 years they also reported more appropriate responses to food refusal on 7/12 items (Ps ≤.05). No statistically significant group effect was noted for anthropometric outcomes (BMI Z-score: P=.06), or the prevalence of overweight/obesity (control 13.3% vs. intervention 11.4%, P=.66).


  • Anticipatory guidance on complementary feeding resulted in first-time mothers reporting increased use of protective feeding practices. These intervention effects were sustained up to five years of age and were paralleled by a non-significant trend for lower child BMI Z-scores at all post-intervention assessment points.

Impact and interest:

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12 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 83170
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-4108
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
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 the American Academy of Pediatrics
Deposited On: 07 Apr 2015 23:21
Last Modified: 18 May 2016 05:33

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