Is primary prevention of childhood obesity by education at 13-month immunisations feasible and acceptable? Results from a general practice based pilot study

Type Article

Journal Article


E. Doorley; C. Young; B. O’shea; C. Darker; B. Hollywood; C. O’rorke

Year of publication



Irish Medical Journal







Prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity remains high in Ireland. In this study an intervention conducted within primary care was evaluated. This involved a structured discussion with parents at the 13 month immunisations with their general practitioner (GP), including measuring weight of the toddler and parental education regarding healthy nutrition and physical activity for their toddler. There was a telephone follow-up interview with parents three months later assessing change in toddler diet/lifestyle. Endpoints assessed included parentsa€. reports of specific lifestyle parameters with regard to the toddler and parental assessment of the usefulness of the intervention. 39 toddlers were studied. Most lifestyle parameters had improved at follow up. Reported fruit and vegetable intake of more than 4 portions per day increased from 20.5% of toddlers at baseline 28.6% at follow up. The number of toddlers abstaining from unhealthy snacks increased from 15.4% to 21.4%. Television watching of more than 2 hours daily decreased from 12.8% to 0%. Supervised exercise of more than thirty minutes per day increased from 69.2% to 89.3%. The majority of parents reported at follow up that they found the intervention acceptable (100%, n = 28) and useful (79%, n = 22).