The Infant Feeding Activity and Nutrition Trial aimed to assess the effectiveness of a parent-focused intervention on infants’ obesity-risk behaviors and BMI.
In this cluster-randomized controlled trial, it was hypothesized that an obesity prevention intervention delivered to first-time parents in preexisting social groups would improve aspects of child diet, increase child time spent physically active, and reduce child television viewing time.
A cluster-randomized controlled trial involved 542 mother/infant pairs from 62 existing first-time parent groups in Melbourne, Australia. The trial tested the efficacy of a face-to-face intervention for parents, involving six 2-hour dietitian-delivered group sessions and written resources from infant age 4–15 months. The sessions focused on parental knowledge, skills, and social support around infant feeding, diet, physical activity, and television viewing. Messages were anticipatory in nature, such that concepts were presented before the associated child developmental phase. The intervention group sessions also provided an opportunity for parents to support each other and share learning.
The INFANT program showed improved dietary and physical activity outcomes among intervention group children compared to control group children. Journal article: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2012-2576.
Post-intervention effects on children’s behaviours were sustained. In a follow-up of trial participants (2 and 3.5 years after INFANT), the participating children had higher fruit, vegetable and water intake than control group children, lower non-core drink and sweet snack intake and they watched less television. Journal article: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-020-00994-9
INFANT is now being scaled up across Victoria. Find out more at www.infantprogram.org