Effects of the Healthy Start randomized intervention on dietary intake among obesity-prone normal-weight children

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Objective: The study aimed to evaluate the impact of a 15-month intervention on dietary intake conducted among obesity-prone normal-weight pre-school children.

Design: Information on dietary intake was obtained using a 4 d diet record. A diet quality index was adapted to assess how well children’s diet complied with the Danish national guidelines. Linear regression per protocol and intention-to-treat analyses of differences in intakes of energy, macronutrients, fruit, vegetables, fish, sugar-sweetened beverages and diet quality index between the two groups were conducted.

Setting: The Healthy Start study was conducted during 2009–2011, focusing on changing diet, physical activity, sleep and stress management to prevent excessive weight gain among Danish children.

Subjects: From a population of 635 Danish pre-school children, who had a high birth weight (≥4000 g), high maternal pre-pregnancy BMI (≥28·0 kg/m2) or low maternal educational level (<10 years of schooling), 285 children completed the intervention and had complete information on dietary intake.

Results: Children in the intervention group had a lower energy intake after the 15-month intervention (group means: 5·29 v. 5·59 MJ, P =0·02) compared with the control group. We observed lower intakes of carbohydrates and added sugar in the intervention group compared with the control group after the intervention (P=0·002, P=0·01).

Conclusions: The intervention resulted in a lower energy intake, particularly from carbohydrates and added sugar after 15 months of intervention, suggesting that dietary intake can be changed in a healthier direction in children predisposed to obesity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)2988-2997
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

    Research areas

  • Dietary intake, Diet quality index, Intervention, Obesity prevention, Pre-school children

ID: 186994563