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: 3.09). 08/2012; 55(5). DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.08.016
Source: PubMed


To develop a home-based intervention for parents of 2-5 year old children to promote household routines to prevent overweight/obesity.

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.

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 ≥ 2 h/day of screen time.

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.

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    • "The aim of a change in diet or surgical intervention in patients with obesity is addressed to improve both health and quality of life through sufficient weight loss in order to reduce or even eliminate comorbidities and promote psychological wellbeing [12]. Bariatric surgery is often the only effective treatment cure in severe obesity, which remains largely refractory to diet and pharmacologic treatment [13]. We hypothesize that in severely obese patients significant weight loss induced by bariatric surgery would provide an effective improvement in pulmonary function and sleep quality. "
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    ABSTRACT: The increasing prevalence of obesity in both developed and developing countries is one of the most serious public health problems and has led to a global epidemic. Obesity is one of the greatest risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is found in 60 to 70% of obese patients mainly due to the buildup of fat tissue in the upper portion of the thorax and neck. The aim of the present randomized clinical trial is to assess daytime sleepiness, sleep architecture and pulmonary function in patients with severe obesity before and after bariatric surgery.
    Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine 08/2014; 9(1):43. DOI:10.1186/2049-6958-9-43 · 0.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities exist across risk factors for childhood obesity. OBJECTIVE To examine the effectiveness of a home-based intervention to improve household routines known to be associated with childhood obesity among a sample of low-income, racial/ethnic minority families with young children. DESIGN Randomized trial. SETTING The intervention was delivered in the families' homes. PARTICIPANTS The study involved 121 families with children aged 2 to 5 years who had a television (TV) in the room where he or she slept; 111 (92%) had 6-month outcome data (55 intervention and 56 control). The mean (SD) age of the children was 4.0 (1.1) years; 45% were overweight/obese. Fifty-two percent of the children were Hispanic, 34% were black, and 14% were white/other. Nearly 60% of the families had household incomes of $20 000 or less. INTERVENTIONS The 6-month intervention promoted 4 household routines, family meals, adequate sleep, limiting TV time, and removing the TV from the child's bedroom, using (1) motivational coaching at home and by phone, (2) mailed educational materials, and (3) text messages. Control subjects were mailed materials focused on child development. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Change in parent report of frequency of family meals (times/wk), child sleep duration (hours/d), child weekday and weekend day TV viewing (hours/d), and the presence of a TV in the room where the child slept from baseline to 6 months. A secondary outcome was change in age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). RESULTS Compared with control subjects, intervention participants had increased sleep duration (0.75 hours/d; 95% CI, 0.06 to 1.44; P = .03), greater decreases in TV viewing on weekend days (-1.06 hours/d; 95% CI, -1.97 to -0.15; P = .02), and decreased body mass index (-0.40; 95% CI, -0.79 to 0.00; P = .05). No significant intervention effect was found for the presence of a TV in the room where the child slept or family meal frequency. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Our results suggest that promoting household routines, particularly increasing sleep duration and reducing TV viewing, may be an effective approach to reduce body mass index among low-income, racial/ethnic minority children. Longer-term studies are needed to determine maintenance of behavior change. TRIAL REGISTRATION Identifier: NCT01565161.
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    ABSTRACT: To examine differences in obesity-related behaviors by parental US-born status among low-income, minority families participating in Healthy Habits, Happy Homes, an intervention trial to improve household routines for childhood obesity prevention. Evidence suggests lower obesity risk among adult immigrants, but research is inconclusive regarding the influence of having a non-US-born parent on childhood obesity. We sampled 57 US-born and 64 non-US-born families of children aged 2 to 5.9 years living in the Boston area. At baseline, parents reported their own screen time, physical activity, diet, and sleep as well as their children's behaviors. We used linear and logistic regression to examine the association of parental US-born status with obesity-related behaviors. Mean (SD) body mass index z score was 0.94 (1.16), and it did not differ between the groups. After adjusting for parental education and child race/ethnicity, children of non-US-born (vs US-born) parents had later bedtimes (0.81 hours later; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37-1.25) and wake-up times (0.56 hours later; 95% CI, 0.16-0.95) and engaged in less active play (0.15 fewer hr/d; 95% CI, -0.28 to -0.01). Non-US-born (vs US-born) parents had less screen exposure. In this cross-section of low-income, urban families, having a parent born outside the United States was associated with a profile of risk and protective behavior; adjustment for education and race/ethnicity removed the protective associations of parental nativity with child behavior. Obesity-related differences in behaviors and home environments should be considered when designing interventions targeting low-income communities with a high proportion of non-US-born participants.
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