FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The positive effects of a parenting intervention for overweight prevention delivered to parents of firstborn children may carry over to a second-born child, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Obesity.

Jennifer S. Savage, Ph.D., from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, and colleagues evaluated whether the Intervention Nurses Start Infants Growing on Healthy Trajectories (INSIGHT) responsive parenting intervention, delivered to parents of firstborn children, is associated with the body mass index (BMI) of first- and second-born siblings during infancy. The Analysis included 117 firstborn infants randomly assigned to either the responsive parenting curriculum (guidance on feeding, sleep, interactive play, and emotion regulation) or a control curriculum (focused on safety).

The researchers found that firstborn and second-born children whose parents received the intervention with their first child had a BMI that was 0.44 kg/m2 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], −0.82 to 0.06) and 0.36 kg/m2 (95 percent CI, −0.75 to 0.03) lower than controls, respectively. For firstborn and second-born cohorts, linear and quadratic growth rates for BMI were similar, but second-born children had a greater average BMI at 1 year of age.

“Although home-delivered parenting interventions are resource-intensive, their protective effect on child weight appears to spill over to second-born siblings,” the authors write.

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