Effects of healthcare professional delivered early feeding interventions on feeding practices and dietary intake: A systematic review

Type Article

Journal Article


K. Matvienko-Sikar; E. Toomey; L. Delaney; J. Harrington; M. Byrne; P. M. Kearney

Year of publication










BACKGROUND: Childhood obesity is a global public health challenge. Parental feeding practices, such as responsive feeding, are implicated in the etiology of childhood obesity. PURPOSE: This systematic review aimed to examine of effects of healthcare professional-delivered early feeding interventions, on parental feeding practices, dietary intake, and weight outcomes for children up to 2 years. The role of responsive feeding interventions was also specifically examined. METHODS: Databases searched included: CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Maternity and Infant Care. INCLUSION CRITERIA: participants are parents of children ≤2 years; intervention includes focus on early child feeding to prevent overweight and obesity; intervention delivered by healthcare professionals. RESULTS: Sixteen papers, representing 10 trials, met inclusion criteria for review. Six interventions included responsive feeding components. Interventions demonstrated inconsistent effects on feeding practices, dietary intake, and weight outcomes. Findings suggest some reductions in pressure to eat and infant consumption of non-core beverages. Responsive feeding based interventions demonstrate greater improvements in feeding approaches, and weight outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this review highlight the importance of incorporating responsive feeding in healthcare professional delivered early feeding interventions to prevent childhood obesity. Observed inconsistencies across trials may be explained by methodological limitations.