Objective: To assess the effectiveness of the Melbourne Infant Feeding, Activity and Nutrition Trial (InFANT) Program according to maternal education and age.
Methods: A cluster-randomised controlled trial involving 542 mother/infant pairs from 62 existing first-time parent groups was conducted in 2008 in Melbourne, Australia. The intervention involved 6 × 2-hour dietitian-delivered sessions, DVD and written resources from infant age 4-15 months. Outcomes included infant diet (3 × 24 h diet recalls), physical activity (accelerometry), television viewing and body mass index. We tested for moderation by maternal education (with/without a University degree) and age (< 32 and ≥ 32 years). The trial was registered with the ISRCTN Register (identifier 81847050).
Results: Interaction effects with the treatment arm were observed for maternal education and age. The intervention effects on vegetable (positive effect) and sweet snack consumption (negative effect) were greater in children with higher educated mothers while intervention effects on water consumption (positive effect) were greater in infants with lower educated mothers. The intervention was also more effective in increasing both vegetable and water consumption in infants with mothers aged < 32 years.
Conclusions: Child obesity prevention interventions may be differentially effective according to maternal education and age. Evidence of differential effects is important for informing more sensitively targeted/tailored approaches.
Keywords: Age; BMI; InFANT; Infant; Moderation; Nutrition; Physical activity; Socioeconomic position; The Melbourne Infant, Feeding, Activity and Nutrition Trial; USA; United States of America; WHO; World Health Organization; body mass index.