While childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States, a parenting intervention proven to help first-time parents prevent childhood obesity is also helping secondborn babies, even without additional parent training.
The work was recently published in the journal Obesity.
According to Jennifer Savage Williams, associate professor of nutritional studies and director of the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Penn State, INSIGHT is a home parenting intervention targeting firstborns to reduce rapid weight gain in infancy and establish trajectories. healthy growth early in life. First-time mothers and their infants were recruited after birth at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital between January 2012 and March 2014 and received counseling on diet, sleep, interactive play, and emotion regulation.
“While responsive parenting interventions, such as INSIGHT, have shown promise in firstborn infants, obesity and its prevention are relevant issues for all children, regardless of their birth order,” he said. she declared.
The idea for the project arose out of a conversation with his colleague Ian Paul, professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, about their children, who are the same age. “We realized that even though many of us have more than one child, we have little to no information about the protective effects these interventions can have on siblings,” said Paul.
The results showed that the BMIs of secondborns were lower at the age of 1 year than those of secondborns whose parents had not benefited from the intervention. “The continued benefits of responsive parenting training are remarkable, as parents of second children did not receive any INSIGHT reactive parenting reminder messages in the observational-only assessment,” said Williams.
This is important because it shows how effective and cost effective the program is. “This type of intervention can be resource intensive, as it involved four home visits with the same nurse over the three years of the project. It was great to see additional ROI, ”said Williams. “It also supports a shift in thinking about family dynamics and how these programs influence not just an individual, but the whole family. “
In the future, Dr Paul and I would like to test the effectiveness of the INSIGHT reactive parenting intervention in more diverse populations and in larger communities. “We also need to better understand family dynamics in terms of rolling out other interventions and reviewing the development of family-centered interventions.”
This research was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, as well as the Penn State’s Clinical & Translational Research Institute, the Prevention and Methodology Training Program, and the Center for methodology funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Other researchers on the new publication include Anna Hochgraf, a doctoral student in human development at Penn State; Eric Loken, associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Connecticut; Michele E. Marini, data analyst / statistician at the Childhood Obesity Research Center; Sarah Craig, assistant research professor of biology at Penn State; and Kateryna Makova, Francis R. and Helen M. Pentz professor of biology at Penn State.