11 Sep Childhood Obesity Prevention: Improving Household Routines
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Elsie Taveras
Massachusetts General Hospital for Children
Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics
100 Cambridge St, 15th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Taveras: The main findings of the study were that, 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. Children in the intervention group were sleeping about 45 minutes longer than children in the control group. Time spent watching television on weekends dropped about an hour per day in the intervention group, leading to a significant difference from the control group, which increased weekend TV viewing. Both groups had a small reduction in weekday TV viewing, with a greater decrease in the intervention group, as well.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Taveras: Rapid weight gain in children aged 2-5 can lead to higher rates of obesity later in life. It is important to improve household routines in order to slow weight gain in young children so that we can keep them off an obesity trajectory that would be hard to alter by the time they enter middle school.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Taveras: Future studies should be designed to specifically examine the effectiveness of text messages in supporting healthful weight-related behavior change among families with young children. Strategies to motivate parents to remove a TV from which they sleep with their child should also be examined. How barriers to limiting TV viewing may differ on weekends and weekdays, and how the association between obesity risk and family meal frequency and quality may differ by race/ethnicity and/or income also warrant further investigation. Future studies with a longer follow-up are also needed to determine the maintenance of the behavior changes that were observed in this study.
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.