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Preventing Obesity through Interventions during Infancy (The INSIGHT Study)

  • National Institute of Health
  • Co-PI’s: Drs. Ian Paul, Hershey Medical Center, & Leann Birch, University of Georgia
  • Co-I: Dr. Jennifer Savage Williams, CCOR

The Intervention Nurses Start Infants Growing on Healthy Trajectories (INSIGHT) study is an ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of an intervention designed to prevent rapid infant weight gain and childhood obesity among 276 first-born infants.

Participants were recruited in labor and delivery and 1-2 weeks after birth were randomized to an intervention group (parenting) or a control group (safety). The parenting intervention messages were related to responsive feeding, division of feeding responsibility, and healthy dietary choices designed for the prevention of obesity that extend from infancy through age 3 years. These materials also contained messages relating to sleep, active social play, and child fussiness/soothing. The control group received messages focused on the safety of the child’s environment and interaction with parents.

The parenting intervention program is hypothesized to show efficacy in both breast and formula fed infants as measured by the primary outcome, body mass index (BMI) at age 3 years. Secondary parental and infant behavior outcomes include sleep duration, feed duration, fussing and crying duration, feeding practices and attitudes and parenting sense of competence.

In 2018, a renewal application was funded to follow the INSIGHT participants from age 3 years through the developmentally important time at school-entry around age 6 years and into middle childhood at age 9. It is hypothesized that there will be a persistence of the main effect for the intervention group on growth (BMI) seen from 0-3 years through age 9 years. Similar secondary parental and child behavior outcomes will be examined, and researchers hypothesized that, compared to controls, the intervention children will exhibit greater self-regulation, better sleep, more physical activity and less sedentary behavior as they enter middle school.

Referenced below are several papers published from the INSIGHT Study: