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JAMA Pediatr. 2015 Jun;169(6):543-51. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0258.

Sustainability of Effects of an Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Trial Over Time: A Further 3-Year Follow-up of the Healthy Beginnings Trial.

Author information

1
Sydney School of Public Health and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia2Health Promotion Service, Sydney Local Health District, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia3Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai 10th Peop.
2
Sydney School of Public Health and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia4Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
3
Sydney School of Public Health and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
4
Health Promotion Service, Sydney Local Health District, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE:

Little evidence exists on whether effects of an early obesity intervention are sustainable.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the sustainability of effects of a home-based early intervention on children's body mass index (BMI) and BMI z score at 3 years after intervention.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

A longitudinal follow-up study of the randomized clinical Healthy Beginnings Trial was conducted with 465 participating mothers consenting to be followed up at 3 years after intervention until their children were age 5 years. This study was conducted in socially and economically disadvantaged areas of Sydney, Australia, from March 2011 to June 2014.

INTERVENTIONS:

No further intervention was carried out in this Healthy Beginnings Trial phase 2 follow-up study. The original intervention in phase 1 comprised 8 home visits from community nurses delivering a staged home-based intervention, with one visit in the antenatal period and 7 visits at 1, 3, 5, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months after birth.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:

Primary outcomes were children's BMI and BMI z score. Secondary outcomes included dietary behaviors, quality of life, physical activity, and TV viewing time of children and their mothers.

RESULTS:

In total, 369 mothers and their children completed the follow-up study, a phase 2 completion rate of 79.4% (80.9% for the intervention group and 77.7% for the control group). The differences between the intervention and control groups at age 2 years in children's BMI and BMI z score disappeared over time. At age 2 years, the difference (intervention minus control) in BMI (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) was -0.41 (95% CI, -0.71 to -0.10; P = .009), but by age 5 years it was 0.03 (95% CI, -0.30 to 0.37). No effects of the early intervention on dietary behaviors, quality of life, physical activity, and TV viewing time were detected at age 5 years.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

The significant effect of this early life home-visiting intervention on child BMI and BMI z score at age 2 years was not sustained at age 5 years without further intervention. Obesity prevention programs need to be continued or maintained during the early childhood years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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