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Home Visit Program Can Help Prevent Toddler Obesity

Last Updated: January 16, 2018.

The "Minding the Baby" parenting home visiting program can significantly lower rates of obesity in young children, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Pediatrics.

TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The "Minding the Baby" (MTB) parenting home visiting program can significantly lower rates of obesity in young children, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Pediatrics.

Monica Roosa Ordway, Ph.D., from Yale University in West Haven, Conn., and colleagues evaluated prospective data from first-time, young mothers, living in medically underserved communities, who were randomized to the MTB program. Demographics, maternal mental health, and anthropometrics from 158 children from birth to 2 years were collected.

The researchers found that more children participating in the program had a healthy body mass index at 2 years. In the control group, the rate of obesity was significantly higher (P < 0.01) versus the intervention group (19.7 versus 3.3 percent). Children from Hispanic families participating in the MTB intervention were less likely to have overweight or obesity (odds ratio, 0.32).

"Given the high and disproportionate national prevalence of Hispanic young children with overweight and obesity and the increased costs of obesity-related morbidities, these findings have important clinical, research, and policy implications," the authors write.

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