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RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Delta Healthy Sprouts: a randomized comparative effectiveness trial to promote maternal weight control and reduce childhood obesity in the Mississippi Delta

Jessica L Thomson, Lisa M Tussing-Humphreys, Melissa H Goodman
Contemporary Clinical Trials 2014, 38 (1): 82-91
24685997

INTRODUCTION: Excessive and inadequate gestational weight gain can complicate a woman's pregnancy and put her and her child at risk for poor delivery and birth outcomes. Further, feeding and activity habits established early in life can significantly impact the development of childhood obesity.

METHODS: The on-going Delta Healthy Sprouts Project is a randomized, controlled, comparative trial testing the efficacy of two Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs on weight status and health behaviors of 150 mothers and their infants residing in the rural Mississippi Delta region of the United States. Women are enrolled in their second trimester of pregnancy and randomized to one of two treatment arms. The control arm curriculum is based on Parents as Teachers, an evidence based approach to increase parental knowledge of child development and improve parenting practices. The experimental arm, labeled Parents as Teachers Enhanced, builds upon the control curriculum by including culturally tailored nutrition and physical activity components specifically designed for the gestational and postnatal periods. We hypothesize that, as compared to the control arm, the experimental arm will be more effective in preventing inappropriate gestational weight gain, reducing postnatal weight retention, and decreasing infant obesity rates. We also will evaluate mother and child dietary and physical activity outcomes, breastfeeding initiation and continuation, and child feeding practices.

CONCLUSION: The Delta Healthy Sprouts Project tests a novel, combined approach to maternal weight management and childhood obesity prevention in pregnant women and their children at high risk for obesity and chronic disease.

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