Guelph Family Health Study: pilot study of a home-based obesity prevention intervention
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OBJECTIVE: To examine the feasibility and preliminary impact of a home-based obesity prevention intervention among Canadian families. METHODS: Families with children 1.5-5 years of age were randomized to one of three groups: (1) four home visits (HV) with a health educator, emails, and mailed incentives (4HV; n = 17); (2) two HV, emails, and mailed incentives (2HV; n = 14); or (3) general health advice through emails (control; n = 13). Parents randomized to the 2HV and 4HV groups completed post-intervention satisfaction surveys. At baseline and post-intervention, parents reported frequency of family meals and their children's fruit, vegetable, and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake. We assessed the children's physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep using accelerometers and their % fat mass using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Differences in outcomes at post-intervention, controlling for baseline, were examined using generalized estimating equations. RESULTS: Of the 44 families enrolled, 42 (96%) had 6-month outcome data. Satisfaction with the intervention was high; 80% were "very satisfied" and 20% were "satisfied." At post-intervention, children randomized to the 4HV and 2HV groups had significantly higher fruit intake and children randomized to the 2HV group had significantly lower percentage of fat mass, as compared to the control. No significant intervention effect was found for frequency of family meals, the children's vegetable or SSB intake, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, or sleep. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the delivery of a home-based intervention is feasible among Canadian families and may lead to improved diet and weight outcomes among children. A full-scale trial is needed to test the effectiveness of this home-based intervention. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT02223234.
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