Randomized trial of a prevention intervention that embeds weight-related messages within a general parenting program

Jess Haines, Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, Deborah Gross, Julia McDonald, Ken Kleinman, Matthew W. Gillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To assess the extent to which an obesity prevention intervention that embeds obesity-related messages within a parenting program, compared with controls who received weekly mailings, resulted in a smaller increase in children's BMI (primary outcome) and improvements in weight-related behaviors from baseline to 9-month follow-up. Methods Fifty-six families were randomly assigned to the intervention and 56 to control. Children were primarily Hispanic (58%) or Black/African American (23%). Intervention included nine weekly: group parenting sessions, children's sessions, and homework assignments. At baseline, post-intervention, and 9-month follow-up, staff assessed children's weight and height. Parents completed surveys assessing parenting skills, feeding behaviors, and children's weight-related behaviors. Results From baseline to 9-month follow-up, BMI decreased by a mean of 0.13 kg m-2 among children in the intervention and increased by 0.21 kg m-2 among children in the control, resulting in a nonsignificant difference (multivariate adjusted difference = -0.36; 95% confidence interval [CI] -1.23, 0.51; P = 0.41). Parents in the intervention decreased restrictive feeding practices relative to control (-0.30; 95% CI -0.53, -0.07; P = 0.01). Intervention and control arms showed similar changes in children's weight-related behaviors. Conclusions The intervention improved restrictive feeding but did not influence children's BMI or weight-related behaviors compared to controls who received weekly mailings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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