Randomized controlled trial of an early child obesity prevention intervention: Impacts on infant tummy time

Rachel S. Gross, Alan L. Mendelsohn, H. Shonna Yin, Suzy Tomopoulos, Michelle B. Gross, Roberta Scheinmann, Mary Jo Messito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe infant activity at 3 months old and to test the efficacy of a primary care-based child obesity prevention intervention on promoting infant activity in low-income Hispanic families. Methods: This study was a randomized controlled trial (n = 533) comparing a control group of mother–infant dyads receiving standard prenatal and pediatric primary care with an intervention group receiving “Starting Early,” with individual nutrition counseling and nutrition and parenting support groups coordinated with prenatal and pediatric visits. Outcomes included infant activity (tummy time, unrestrained floor time, time in movement-restricting devices). Health literacy was assessed using the Newest Vital Sign. Results: Four hundred fifty-six mothers completed 3-month assessments. Infant activity results were: 82.6% ever practiced tummy time; 32.0% practiced tummy time on the floor; 34.4% reported unrestrained floor time; 56.4% reported ≥1 h/d in movement-restricting devices. Inadequate health literacy was associated with reduced tummy time and unrestrained floor time. The intervention group reported more floor tummy time (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.44-3.23) and unrestrained floor time (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.14-2.49) compared to controls. No difference in the time spent in movement-restricting devices was found. Conclusions: Tummy time and unrestrained floor time were low. Primary care-based obesity prevention programs have potential to promote these activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-927
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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