Exploring active ingredients in early-life health professional-delivered interventions to prevent childhood obesity: a systematic review

  • M. Hennessy
  • M. Byrne
  • E. Toomey
  • H. Wolstenholme
  • C. Heary


Background: This review aims to synthesise the evidence for the effectiveness of health professional-delivered interventions which aim to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity in children under the age of two. Our objectives are to: (1) conduct a systematic review to evaluate the evidence for such interventions, and (2) explore what behaviour change theories and/or techniques are associated with intervention outcomes. Methods: Eligible randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials will be identified through systematic searches of electronic databases (including CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, Open Grey, Scopus, and Web of Science) and cross-checking reference lists of full-texts retrieved. Intervention details will be extracted according to the description of interventions outlined in the TIDieR reporting guidelines. Primary and secondary outcomes will be recorded in detail, including definitions and measures used by authors. Intervention procedures will be coded using the BCT taxonomy, version 1, while intervention functions will be coded using the Behaviour Change Wheel. The extent to which interventions use theory will be assessed using the Theory Coding Scheme. Methodological quality of studies will be assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration tool for assessing the risk of bias. If possible, a meta-analysis will be conducted using Review Manager. If data are not sufficiently homogenous, a narrative synthesis will be employed. Expected results: The effectiveness of interventions, and their active ingredients, will be established. Current stage of work: Abstract screening is underway. Discussion: By better understanding the most effective and transferable components, early life obesity prevention interventions can be optimised/re-developed accordingly.
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