Location of Repository

Effectiveness of a social support intervention on infant feeding practices : randomised controlled trial

By R. G. Watt, K. I. Tull, R. Hardy, M. Wiggins, Yvonne Kelly, B Molloy and Elizabeth Dowler


Background: To assess whether monthly home visits from trained volunteers could improve infant feeding practices at age 12 months, a randomised controlled trial was carried out in two disadvantaged inner city London boroughs. \ud \ud Methods: Women attending baby clinics with their infants (312) were randomised to receive monthly home visits from trained volunteers over a 9-month period (intervention group) or standard professional care only (control group). The primary outcome was vitamin C intakes from fruit. Secondary outcomes included selected macro and micro-nutrients, infant feeding habits, supine length and weight. Data were collected at baseline when infants were aged approximately 10 weeks, and subsequently when the child was 12 and 18 months old. \ud \ud Results: Two-hundred and twelve women (68%) completed the trial. At both follow-up points no significant differences were found between the groups for vitamin C intakes from fruit or other nutrients. At first follow-up, however, infants in the intervention group were significantly less likely to be given goats’ or soya milks, and were more likely to have three solid meals per day. At the second follow-up, intervention group children were significantly less likely to be still using a bottle. At both follow-up points, intervention group children also consumed significantly more specific fruit and vegetables. \ud \ud Conclusions: Home visits from trained volunteers had no significant effect on nutrient intakes but did promote some other recommended infant feeding practices.\u

Topics: RJ101
Publisher: BMJ Group
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:483

Suggested articles



  1. (2005). Breastfeeding initiation and exclusive duration at 6 months by social class – results from the Millennium Cohort Study. Public Health Nutr doi
  2. (1987). Commercial discharge packs and breast feeding counselling: effects on infant feeding practices in a randomized trial. Paediatrics
  3. Community mothers programme – seven year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial of non-professional intervention in parenting. doi
  4. (1993). Community mothers programme: randomised controlled trial of a non-professional intervention in parenting. doi
  5. (1997). Dietary education and iron deficiency anaemia in the inner city. Arch Dis Child doi
  6. Disseminating weaning messages: an intervention trial. doi
  7. (1999). Education and Employment. Sure Start: Making a difference for children and families. London: Department of Education and Employment,
  8. (1998). Effectiveness of interventions to promote healthy feeding in infants under one year of age: a review. London: Health Education Authority,
  9. (2004). English Indices of Deprivation, revised,
  10. (2003). Essential Medical Statistics (second edition).
  11. Flavor variety enhances food acceptance in formula fed infants. doi
  12. (2008). for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Maternal and Child Nutrition. Public health guidance 11.
  13. (1995). Health education and iron intakes of weaning children. Health Visit
  14. (2002). Health. Five a day pilot initiatives. Executive summary of pilot evaluation. London: Department of Health,
  15. (2003). Health. Infant feeding recommendations. London: Department of Health,
  16. (1994). Health. Weaning and the weaning diet. Report on Health and Social Subjects. Report of the Working Group on the weaning diet of the committee on medical aspects of food policy.
  17. (2007). Infant feeding survey 2005. London: Information Centre,
  18. (2005). Interventions for promoting the initiation of breastfeeding. (Cochrane Review). doi
  19. (2007). Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey. Volume 1. Background, methods and sample characteristics.
  20. (2002). Low Income Diet Methods Study. London: Food Standards Agency,
  21. National diet and nutrition survey: children aged 1.5 to 4.5 years. Vol 1. Report of the diet and nutrition survey. doi
  22. Organization. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. Report of a joint WHO/FAO expert consultation. Geneva: World Health Organization, doi
  23. (2006). Promoting recommended infant feeding practices in a low-income sample – randomised controlled trial of a peer support intervention. London: Food Standards Agency, doi
  24. (1995). Prospective randomized trial in 1062 infants of diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Lancet doi
  25. (1999). Randomized trial testing the effect of peer education at increasing fruit and vegetable intake. doi
  26. (2001). Rattling the plate – reasons and rationales for early weaning. Health Educ Res doi
  27. (1992). Relation of infant feeding to adult serum cholesterol concentration and death from ischaemic heart disease. doi
  28. Social support, stress and the buffering hypothesis, a theoretical analysis. In: doi
  29. Support for breastfeeding mothers. (Cochrane Review). doi
  30. The effectiveness of antenatal education of Pakistani and Indian women living in this country. Child Care Health Dev 1986;12:385–399. doi
  31. (2006). The process of establishing, implementing and maintaining a social support infant feeding programme. Public Health Nutr doi
  32. (1998). Weaning practice in the Glasgow Longitudinal Infant Growth Survey. Arch Dis Child
  33. (1987). What kind of exposure reduces children’s food neophobia? Looking vs. tasting. Appetite doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.