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Preventing Childhood Obesity Through a Mindfulness-Based Parent Stress Intervention: A Randomized Pilot Study
The Journal of Pediatrics
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2018
Pages: 136 - 142.e1
Source ID: shanti-sources-68611
Abstract: ObjectiveTo assess the feasibility of engaging stressed, low-income parents with obesity in a novel mindfulness-based parent stress intervention aimed at decreasing the risk of early childhood obesity. Study design An 8-week mindfulness-based parent stress group intervention (parenting mindfully for health) plus nutrition and physical activity counseling (PMH+N) was developed for parents with obesity aimed at preventing obesity in their at-risk 2- to 5-year-old children. PMH+N was compared with a control group intervention (C+N), and improvement in parenting was assessed before and after the intervention using the laboratory-based toy wait task (TWT). In addition, nutrition, physical activity, and stress were assessed using a multimethod approach. Results After establishing feasibility in 20 parent-child dyads (phase 1), 42 dyads were randomized to PMH+N vs C+N (phase 2). Compared with the C+N group, the PMH+N group demonstrated significantly better group attendance (P < .015), greater improvement in parental involvement (P < .05), and decreased parental emotional eating rating (P < .011). Furthermore, C+N, but not PMH+N, was associated with significant increases in child body mass index percentile during treatment (P < .03) when accounting for the TWT before and after changes in parenting scores. Conclusions These findings suggest that a mindfulness-based parent stress intervention to decrease childhood obesity risk is feasible, requires further testing of therapeutic mechanisms in larger samples, and may be a potential way to attenuate the risk of childhood obesity.