Article

Healthy Habits, Happy Homes: Methods and baseline data of a randomized controlled trial to improve household routines for obesity prevention

Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: .
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.93). 08/2012; 55(5). DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.08.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To develop a home-based intervention for parents of 2-5year old children to promote household routines to prevent overweight/obesity. METHODS: We recruited 121 children from health centers in Boston between 2011 and 2012 and randomized 62 to intervention and 59 to the control condition. The 6-month intervention included 1) motivational coaching at home and by phone with a health educator, 2) mailed educational materials, and 3) weekly text messages. The intervention promoted three household routines: eating meals as a family, obtaining adequate sleep, and limiting screen time. RESULTS: Of the 121 children, mean (SD) age was 4.0 (1.1) years; 52% were Hispanic, 34% Black, and 14% White/Other. Nearly 60% of the sample had annual household incomes≤$20,000. Approximately 64% of families reported eating together≥7 times per week, however, many meals were eaten in front of a TV. Over half of the children slept less than the recommended 11h/night and 78% viewed≥2h/day of screen time. CONCLUSIONS: Household routines that increase obesity risk were prevalent among low-income families in this study. If proven to be effective, promotion of household routines related to family meals, sleep, and screen time may prevent young children from becoming overweight/obese. Clinical Trials Registration Number: NCT01565161.

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