Empowering Mothers to Prevent Obesity At Weaning; Exploratory Research
EMPOWER is a feasibility trial to test a newly developed intervention delivered by specialist health visitors to prevent infant and early childhood obesity.
Click on the links below to read about EMPOWER:
The high prevalence of overweight and obesity in children starting school points to the need for earlier interventions aimed at the primary prevention of obesity during infancy.
Evidence suggests that parenting, early feeding styles, an infant's exposure to foods and infant feeding behaviour are correlated with weight status. Addressing early lifestyle is part of the national strategy for obesity prevention but to date trials targeting this age group are scarce, and none exist in the UK.
The EMPOWER feasibility trial involves the implemention and evaluation of a health-visitor led intervention that works in partnership with parents to support the development of healthy lifestyle behaviours during infancy.
Following piloting, a feasibility trial has recruited 62 obese (BMI>35kg/m2) mothers from the high risk antenatal clinics in Leeds and Birmingham.
The EMPOWER intervention is being delivered by specialist health visitors who are trained in the Family Partnership Model and HENRY approach to child obesity. It consists of 6-8 visits until the child reaches 16 months of age.
Qualitative and quantitative outcome measurements are being collected at baseline when the infant is 6-8 weeks of age, and again when the child is 9 months and 18 months of age. These include:
- Self-reported feeding practices
- Infant and mother food intakes
- Activity levels
The feasibility of running a multicentre RCT is being assessed using a range of process data including user and provider acceptability and satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness.
- Sue Hanson (2011).
- Rebecca Lang, Jane Barlow, Sue Hanson, Mary C. Rudolf (2011).
- Rebecca Lang, Jane Barlow, Sandra Whitlock, Daphne Kaklamanou, Sue Hanson, Karen Sylvester & Mary C. Rudolf (2010).
- Barlow, J., Whitlock, S., Hanson, S., Davis, H., Hunt, C., Kirkpatrick, S., Rudolf, MC. (2010).
Preventing obesity at weaning: parental views about the EMPOWER programme. Child: Care, Health and Development: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01107.x
- Hanson, S. (2010).
Empowering change. Reflections on a research project in which a specialist health visitor is working in partnership with families where children are at risk of obesity. Community Practitioner: 83 (4) 36-37.
- The Department of Health
- The Child Growth Foundation
Support is also provided by the Leeds Primary Care Trust and the Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust. Ethics Approval granted through the South Birmingham Ethics Committee.
Professor Jane Barlow, Principal Investigator, Warwick University
Professor Mary Rudolf, Principal Investigator, Leeds University
Dr Beckie Lang, Research Fellow, Warwick University
Sue Hanson, Specialist Health Visitor, Leeds PCT
Karen Sylvester, Specialist Health Visitor, Heart of Birmingham PCT
Professor Tim Cole, Medical Statistics, UCL
Professor Sarah Cowley, Community Practice Development, Kings College London
Professor Hilton Davis, Child Health PSychology, Kings College London/Institute of Psychiatry
Dr Laurel Edmunds, Research Psychologist
Dr Penny Gibson, RCPCH Advisor on Childhood Obesity
Professor Neil McIntosh, Child Life and Health, University of Edinburgh
Professor Stavros Petrou, Health Economics, Warwick University
Dr Pinki Sahota, Childhood Obesity, Leeds Metropolitan University
Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Public Health, Warwick University
Professor Carolyn Summerbell, Nutrition, Durham University