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Methodological development of an exploratory randomised controlled trial of an early years' nutrition intervention: the CHERRY programme (Choosing Healthy Eating when Really Young)

Watt, RG; Draper, AK; Ohly, HR; Rees, G; Pikhart, H; Cooke, L; Moore, L; ... Hayter, AK; + view all (2014) Methodological development of an exploratory randomised controlled trial of an early years' nutrition intervention: the CHERRY programme (Choosing Healthy Eating when Really Young). Maternal & Child Nutrition , 10 (2) pp. 280-294. 10.1111/mcn.12061. Green open access

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Abstract

Good nutrition in the early years of life is vitally important for a child's development, growth and health. Children's diets in the United Kingdom are known to be poor, particularly among socially disadvantaged groups, and there is a need for timely and appropriate interventions that support parents to improve the diets of young children. The Medical Research Council has highlighted the importance of conducting developmental and exploratory research prior to undertaking full-scale trials to evaluate complex interventions, but have provided very limited detailed guidance on the conduct of these initial phases of research. This paper describes the initial developmental stage and the conduct of an exploratory randomised controlled trial undertaken to determine the feasibility and acceptability of a family-centred early years' nutrition intervention. Choosing Healthy Eating when Really Young (CHERRY) is a programme for families with children aged 18 months to 5 years, delivered in children's centres in one urban (Islington) and one rural (Cornwall) location in the United Kingdom. In the development stage, a mixed-methods approach was used to investigate the nature of the problem and options for support. A detailed review of the evidence informed the theoretical basis of the study and the creation of a logic model. In the feasibility and pilot testing stage of the exploratory trial, 16 children's centres, with a sample of 394 families were recruited onto the study. We hope that the methodology, which we present in this paper, will inform and assist other researchers in conducting community-based, exploratory nutrition research in early years settings.

Type: Article
Title: Methodological development of an exploratory randomised controlled trial of an early years' nutrition intervention: the CHERRY programme (Choosing Healthy Eating when Really Young)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12061
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12061
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Maternal & Child Nutrition published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Keywords: nutrition intervention; early years; community-based research; exploratory randomised controlled trial
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1398167
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