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Original Investigation
Journal Club
August 2016

Effect of the INSIGHT Responsive Parenting Intervention on Rapid Infant Weight Gain and Overweight Status at Age 1 YearA Randomized Clinical Trial

Journal Club PowerPoint Slide Download
Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Childhood Obesity Research, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • 2Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • 3Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia, Athens
  • 4Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • 5Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, University Park
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(8):742-749. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0445
Key Points

Question  Can rapid weight gain and overweight status at 1 year be prevented by a responsive parenting intervention that is delivered by nurse home visitors?

Findings  In this randomized clinical trial that included 279 mother-infant dyads, the responsive parenting intervention was associated with reduced rapid weight gain, and fewer than 6% of infants in the responsive parenting group were overweight at age 1 year compared with 13% of control group infants, a significant difference.

Meaning  A multicomponent intervention that promotes responsive parenting behaviors is associated with healthy growth trajectories in infancy.


Importance  Rapid infant weight gain is associated with later obesity, but interventions to prevent rapid infant growth and reduce risk for overweight status in infancy are lacking.

Objective  To examine the effect of a responsive parenting (RP) intervention on infant weight gain between birth and 28 weeks and overweight status at age 1 year.

Design, Setting, and Participants  The Intervention Nurses Start Infants Growing on Healthy Trajectories (INSIGHT) study is an ongoing randomized clinical trial comparing an RP intervention designed to prevent childhood obesity with a safety control. The study includes primiparous mother-newborn dyads (n = 291) and was conducted at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, in addition to home visits. Enrollment was initiated in January 2012, and evaluable population analyses for this study were conducted between April 2015 and November 2015.

Interventions  At 2 weeks post partum, initial intervention materials appropriate to the assigned treatment group were mailed to the participant’s home. Research nurses conducted home visits at 3 weeks, 16 weeks, 28 weeks, and 40 weeks, and a research center visit occurred at 1 year. The Intervention Nurses Start Infants Growing on Healthy Trajectories curriculum included messages about infant feeding, sleep hygiene, active social play, emotion regulation, and growth record education. The control group received a developmentally appropriate home safety intervention also delivered by nurse home visitors.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Conditional weight gain from birth to 28 weeks was calculated. General linear models examined intervention effect on conditional weight gain. The intervention’s effect on infant weight-for-length percentiles was tested using analysis of variance. Logistic regression compared the odds of overweight status (weight for length ≥95th percentile) at 1 year as a function of conditional weight gain.

Results  Of the mothers included in the study, 246 were white (88%), 260 were non-Hispanic (93%), 210 were married (75%), and 201 were working full time (72%) at time of enrollment. The mean conditional weight gain score was lower among infants in the RP group compared with the control group (−0.18; 95% CI, −0.36 to −0.001), reflecting that the RP infants gained weight more slowly than control group infants (0.18; 95% CI, 0.02-0.34); this effect did not differ by feeding mode (predominantly fed breast milk or not). Infants in the RP group also had lower mean weight-for-length percentiles at 1 year than infants in the control group (57.5%; 95% CI, 52.56%-62.37% vs 64.4%; 95% CI, 59.94%-69.26%; P = .04) and were less likely to be overweight at age 1 year (5.5% vs 12.7%; P = .05).

Conclusions and Relevance  An RP intervention is associated with reduced rapid weight gain during the first 6 months after birth and overweight status at age 1 year.

Trial Registration  clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01167270.