The Impact of a Healthy Weight Intervention Embedded in a Home-Visiting Program on Children’s Weight and Mothers’ Feeding Practices




Alexandra B. Morshed, Rachel G. Tabak, Cynthia D. Schwarz, and Debra Haire-Joshu

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


OBJECTIVE: To examine whether a healthy weight intervention embedded in the Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting program, which was previously found to improve mothers’ body mass index (BMI) and obesity-related behaviors, changed the BMI of preschool children or maternal feeding practices. METHODS: This stratified randomized trial included preschool-aged children at risk for overweight whose mothers were overweight or had obesity (n = 179). The Healthy Eating and Active Living Taught at Home (HEALTH) intervention was based on the Diabetes Prevention Program. Differences were examined using repeated-measures mixed-ANOVA models. RESULTS: Compared with PAT usual care, the HEALTH intervention had no effect on children’s BMI or maternal feeding practices. However, combined analyses showed that children’s BMI percentile decreased (P= .007), BMI z-scores were maintained (P= .19), and 3 of 8 feeding practices improved over time (P<.05). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Additional research is needed to assess the effectiveness of PAT to prevent preschool-age obesity using rigorous designs (eg, group-randomized trials) and to identify its active components. HEALTH is ready to be scaled up to prevent maternal weight gain through embedding within the national PAT program. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Standardized assessment tools
  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Morshed, A. B., Tabak, R. G., Schwarz, C. D., & Haire-Joshu, D. (2018). The impact of a healthy weight intervention embedded in a home-visiting program on children's weight and mothers’ feeding practices. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 000(000), 1-7.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2018.09.001
Author Contact Information:
Alexandra B. Morshed


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches