The Choosing Healthy Eating for Infant Health(CHErIsH) Study
The CHErIsh Study
The Choosing Healthy Eating for Infant Health (CHErIsH) study was a HRB-funded study conducted from 2016 to 2020. The study aimed to develop, implement and evaluate a complex intervention to support and promote healthy infant feeding practices among parents and primary caregivers within primary care settings. A key impetus for the study was to help reduce the risk of childhood obesity and overweight by improving infant feeding practices among parents and primary caregivers.
CHErIsH was conducted by a multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional team from University College Cork (UCC), NUI Galway (NUIG) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD), who worked in partnership with policy stakeholders and practitioners. These included healthcare practitioners from the Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre (MPHC) and the HSE National Healthy Childhood Programme. Principal Investigator for the study was Professor Patricia Kearney
Study Work Packages
The study comprised three main work packages as follows:
- WP1 – Establishing the evidence base for the burden of childhood obesity in Ireland and the role of early dietary interventions
- WP2 – Developing a pilot intervention to improve and support early infant feeding practices
- WP3 – Implementing and evaluating the pilot intervention
Details of Intervention
The developed CHErIsH intervention consisted of: brief infant feeding messages provided to parents/caregivers by primary healthcare practitioners during routine infant vaccination visits, along with additional information materials and signposting to online resources. The messages focused on the timing, frequency and types of solid foods to be introduced. An accompanying implementation strategy was also developed to support behaviour change at the level of the healthcare practitioners delivering the intervention, which was essential to ensure that parents receive the intervention.
Funding was also provided under the HRB Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme to undertake knowledge translation activities for the CHErIsH study. These activities included holding knowledge exchange events between researchers and healthcare practitioners, organising media coverage of the feasibility study launch, compiling research briefs, and providing training in knowledge translation.
A full list of CHErIsH Publications and Presentations is available by clicking on the link below.
Professor Patricia Kearney, UCC, and Dr Tony Heffernan, MPHC, at launch of CHErIsH feasibility study, March 2019