Coordination Between Primary Care and Women, Infants, and Children to Prevent Obesity for Infants from Low-Income Families: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial

Jennifer S. Savage, Amy M. Moore, Samantha M.R. Kling, Michele Marini, Erika Hernandez, Jennifer Franceschelli Hosterman, Sandra Hassink, Ian M. Paul, Lisa Bailey-Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Rapid weight gain during infancy is associated with risk for later obesity, yet little research to date has examined the effect of a responsive parenting (RP) intervention with care coordination between pediatric primary care providers and Women, Infants, and Children nutritionists on infant weight. Methods: The Women, Infants, and Children Enhancements to Early Healthy Lifestyles for Baby (WEE Baby) Care study is a pragmatic, randomized clinical trial for mothers and infants (n=288) designed to examine the effect of a patient-centered RP intervention that used advanced health information technology strategies to coordinate care to reduce rapid infant weight gain compared with standard care. General linear models examined intervention effects on infant conditional weight gain scores, weight-for-age z scores, BMI, and overweight status (BMI-for-age ≥85th percentile) from birth to age 6 months, and mothers' use of food to soothe from age 2 to 6 months. Results: There were no intervention effects on infant conditional weight gain scores or overweight status at 6 months. Infants in the RP intervention had lower mean weight-for-age z scores [M=−0.04, standard error (SE)=0.04 vs. M=0.05, SE=0.04; p=0.008] and lower mean BMI (M=16.05, SE=0.09 vs. M=16.24, SE=0.09; p=0.03) compared with standard care. Mothers' use of emotion-based food to soothe was lower in the RP intervention compared with standard care from age 2 to 6 months [M difference=−0.32, standard deviation (SD)=0.81 vs. 0.00, SD=0.90; p=0.01]. Conclusions: This pragmatic, patient-centered RP intervention did not reduce rapid infant weight gain or overweight but was associated with modestly lower infant BMI and reduced mothers' use of emotion-based food to soothe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-524
Number of pages10
JournalChildhood Obesity
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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