A new study has been published by led by Prof Sarah Redsell of Anglia Ruskin University and a team of researchers at the Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham and Lincoln, including Prof Niro Siriwardena of CaHRU. The study, published in Maternal and Child Nutrition, was entitled ‘Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of interventions that aim to reduce the risk, either directly or indirectly, of overweight and obesity in infancy and early childhood’.
This new review sought to identify randomised controlled trials of interventions delivered antenatally or during the first 2 years of life and designed to reduce the risk of overweight/obesity from birth to seven years of age. The authors identified 35 eligible studies published from January 1990 to September 2013 in six electronic databases. This included 27 unique trials of interventions including nutritional and/or responsive feeding, breastfeeding promotion and lactation support for mothers, parenting and family lifestyle, maternal health changing formula milk composition or diet, and modifying parental responsiveness to infant cues. The interventions had variable effects on feeding practices, behaviour and weight in infancy or childhood.
There were few intervention studies for pregnant women that continued during infancy. The authors are developing and testing the feasibility of a complex intervention comprising an interactive, educational programme (ProAsk) for health practitioners to guide and enhance communication with parents of infants about obesity risk identification and prevention strategies, funded by the Medical Research Council.