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Child Obes. 2017 Oct;13(5):356-368. doi: 10.1089/chi.2017.0042. Epub 2017 May 30.

A Social Media Peer Group for Mothers To Prevent Obesity from Infancy: The Grow2Gether Randomized Trial.

Author information

1
1 Division of General Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , Philadelphia, PA.
2
5 Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, PA.
3
3 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , Philadelphia, PA.
4
4 Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, PA.
5
2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, PA.
6
6 Sloan Kettering Institute , Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.
7
7 Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , Philadelphia, PA.
8
8 Maternal and Child Health Research Program, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, PA.
9
9 Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , Philadelphia, PA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few studies have addressed obesity prevention among low-income families whose infants are at increased obesity risk. We tested a Facebook peer-group intervention for low-income mothers to foster behaviors promoting healthy infant growth.

METHODS:

In this randomized controlled trial, 87 pregnant women (Medicaid insured, BMI ≥25 kg/m2) were randomized to the Grow2Gether intervention or text message appointment reminders. Grow2Gether participants joined a private Facebook group of 9-13 women from 2 months before delivery until infant age 9 months. A psychologist facilitated groups featuring a curriculum of weekly videos addressing feeding, sleep, parenting, and maternal well-being. Feasibility was assessed using the frequency and content of participation, and acceptability using surveys. Maternal beliefs and behaviors and infant growth were assessed at birth, 2, 4, 6, and 9 months. Differences in infant growth between study arms were explored. We conducted intention-to-treat analyses using quasi-least-squares regression.

RESULTS:

Eighty-eight percent (75/85) of intervention participants (42% (36/85) food insecure, 88% (75/85) black) reported the group was helpful. Participants posted 30 times/group/week on average. At 9 months, the intervention group had significant improvement in feeding behaviors (Infant Feeding Style Questionnaire) compared to the control group (p = 0.01, effect size = 0.45). Intervention group mothers were significantly less likely to pressure infants to finish food and, at age 6 months, give cereal in the bottle. Differences were not observed for other outcomes, including maternal feeding beliefs or infant weight-for-length.

CONCLUSIONS:

A social media peer-group intervention was engaging and significantly impacted certain feeding behaviors in families with infants at high risk of obesity.

KEYWORDS:

Internet; behavior change; infant; mHealth; prevention; social media

PMID:
28557558
PMCID:
PMC5647509
DOI:
10.1089/chi.2017.0042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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