The effectiveness of interventions to promote healthy weight gain in infants and young children from socioeconomically disadvantaged and indigenous families: A systematic review

Rachel Laws, Karen Campbell, Georgina Russell, Elizabeth Denney-Wilson, David Crawford, Kylie Ball, John Lynch
Publication type: 
Conference presentation
Stream 1 Families with young children

Poster presented at Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting 17th - 19th October 2013

Background and Aims

Early childhood is an important period for establishing behaviours that will affect weight gain and health across the life course. Children from disadvantaged families including those from low socio-economic backgrounds and indigenous families have significantly higher rates of obesity, making early intervention particularly important in these groups. Little is known however, about the most effective intervention approaches in these populations. This study will report the findings of a systematic review of the effectiveness of interventions to promote healthy weight gain in children 0-5 years from socioeconomically disadvantaged and indigenous families.


Searches of major electronic databases were undertaken to identify intervention studies promoting healthy weight gain in children aged 0-5 years from low socio-economic and indigenous families. Articles published in the last 20 years reporting on feeding practices, anthropometric, diet, physical activity or sedentary behaviour outcomes were included. A total of 4144 unique citations were identified and a screening of titles, abstracts resulted in 83 papers to be reviewed to identify studies meeting the eligibility criteria. Data on included studies are to be extracted by one reviewer and verified by a second reviewer. Internal and external validity will also be assessed using standard quality rating tools.


The review will assess overall effectiveness of the interventions using meta-analysis (if possible) and narrative synthesis.  The review will also report on the reach of the interventions, the most important intervention targets, the effectiveness of various intervention strategies and delivery modes as well as the generalizability of the studies.


This review will provide important new information about the best bets in obesity prevention interventions for socioeconomically disadvantaged and indigenous families, as well as identifying key gaps in knowledge to guide future research.