New paper | A scoping review of outcomes commonly reported in obesity prevention interventions in children under 5 years

Evidence synthesis on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent obesity in early childhood is limited by heterogeneity in outcomes reporting, definitions and how they are measured.  Having an agreed set of core outcomes that trials can measure and report can improve comparability across trials, and inclusion in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Stream 2 co-lead, Dr Vicki Brown, is leading the development of a suite of core outcome sets for early childhood obesity prevention interventions.  As a first step to developing the core outcome sets, a scoping review was conducted to summarise the outcomes of interest in obesity prevention trials in the first 5 years of life.

The review included 161 early childhood obesity prevention interventions and identified 221 unique outcomes across 18 outcome domains.  Body mass index was the only outcome reported in more than 50% of the studies.  The findings reinforce the need for a core outcome set that early obesity prevention interventions should measure and report, and facilitate knowledge synthesis.  The next step in the development of core outcome sets is underway.  Read the study protocol here.

The development of core outcome sets will inform Stream 1 research aiming to synthesise global trials in early childhood obesity prevention to identify the most effective intervention components for various contexts and population groups.

Reference: Brown, V., Moodie, M., Sultana, M., Hunter, K. E., Byrne, R., Zarnowiecki, D., Seidler, A. L., Golley, R., Taylor, R. W., Hesketh, K. D., & Matvienko-Sikar, K. (2022). A scoping review of outcomes commonly reported in obesity prevention interventions aiming to improve obesity-related health behaviors in children to age 5 years. Obesity Reviews, e13427. Advance online publication.

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