Thursday, September 12, 2013

Factors in the Home that Reduce Childhood Obesity

JAMA Pediatrics published research on in home interventions to reduce childhood obesity.  The children in the intervention group participated in a program called "Healthy Home Healthy Habits".  The parents were not told that it was to reduce the risk of the children becoming overweight. 

The interventions consisted of encouraging:
  • regular family meals together
  • adequate sleep for children
  • limiting the time children spend watching television
  • removing television from rooms where children sleep
  • parenting practices such as role modeling and limit setting. 

At the end of 6 months, the results showed that the children in the intervention group were:
  • sleeping 45 minutes more per night
  • television watching dropped about an hour per day on the weekends (non intervention group increased tv viewing on the weekend)
  • no change in family meals together
  • overall, the body mass index of children in the intervention group dropped an average of 0.18, while it rose 0.21 in the control group. 
Reference: Haines J, McDonald J, O’Brien A, et al. Healthy Habits, Happy Homes: Randomized Trial to Improve Household Routines for Obesity Prevention Among Preschool-Aged Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2013;():-. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2356.  

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