The project’s work package on health care recently published an article in BMC Health: A randomized controlled trial for overweight and obesity in pre-schoolers: the More and Less Europe study – an intervention within the STOP project. The article summarizes the design of a multi-country study (Sweden, Romania and Spain). The aim is to assess the acceptance and effectiveness of an overweight and obesity intervention in a socially diverse population of families with 2- to 6-year-old children. The intervention incorporates both a parent support program (Ek et al, Pediatrics 2019) and mHealth (Nystrom AJCN 2017).
In the study, the effectiveness of the intervention on child weight status will be assessed, together with secondary outcomes such as waist circumference, child eating behavior, parental feeding practices, and physical activity. A novel feature of the study is the assessment of epigenetic mechanisms and physio pathological processes underlying childhood obesity, including the role of gut hormones. Another unique component is validation of children’s food intake with metabolic markers in urine metabolomics. In conclusion, in the majority of countries, there is no standard management of overweight and obesity in the pre-school years. If the ML Europe intervention is found to be effective, it could be implemented into routine care across Europe.