Designing, evaluating and implementing a pilot complex intervention in childhood obesity

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in Ireland as well as internationally. Early infant feeding practices (aged 0-2 years), including when and how parents introduce solid foods to infants, can impact overweight and obesity in childhood and later life. 
In this project, a team of researchers from UCC, National University of Ireland, Galway and Trinity College Dublin, will work together to increase understanding of infant feeding and develop an intervention to promote healthy infant feeding. The research will have four main aims:
1) To describe the burden of childhood overweight and obesity in Ireland, using existing information, in terms of the financial costs, and its impact on current and future health and well-being of children and their families in Ireland 2) To compile information from existing studies on the influence of early infant feeding practices on obesity in children 3) To increase our understanding of infant feeding practices, and ways we may be able to change these, in Ireland. The research team will interview parents and health care workers to understand how different factors interact to determine feeding behaviours 4) To develop and test an intervention for primary care to increase healthy early infant feeding practices, with a goal of improving childhood obesity outcomes. The intervention will be included in the routine vaccination visits in primary care for infants (2, 4, 6 and 12 month visits). The cost to the health care service of providing the intervention will be calculated.
As part of the research project, the research fellows will work within an interdisciplinary team of professionals from different areas of healthcare and this will support their development as future leaders in Population Health and Health Services Research in Ireland. As well as working with leading experts in the field in Ireland, they will also be able to spend time abroad in world class research centres in the UK and the US.

Award Date
26 June 2015
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Patricia Kearney
Host Institution
University College Cork
Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Awards