Background

Mothers are the primary caregivers for their children and are in a unique position to influence their child’s behaviors. However, mothers often do not perceive accuracy when their child is overweight or obese (OW/OB). Therefore we design, implement, and evaluate 'Healthy Change' intervention to change maternal perception of her child's weight (MPCW) through peer-led group health education in childcare settings, 'Healthy Change' is a multicenter two-arm randomized. The objectives were to evaluate the effect of Healthy Change in MPCW with overweight-obesity (OW-OB) and associated variables (nutritional status and body mass index of the child, maternal feeding style and home obesogenic environment).

Methods

Participated 294 dyads (mother-child pairs). They were randomly and evenly allocated to either, the intervention or the control group. Intervention group received four-session group obesity prevention education Healthy Change. Control group received a four-session Personal and Food Hygiene Education. Both were delivered by trained peer-mother promotoras. Baseline and final measurements were made. Data were collected by questionnaires, and weight and height of the dyads were measured.

Results

The preliminary findings are adequate MPCW of mothers of children with OW-OB increased from 5.6% to 25% (p = 0.06), reduction of child with OW-OB (24.2 vs 19.5, Z = 2.111, p < 0.05), reduction of the child´s body mass index (15.93 vs 15.83, Z = - 2.40, p < 0.05), increase the proportion of mothers with authority feeding style (17.4 vs 26.2, X2 = 96.583, gl = 9, p < 0.001) and, reduction of the home environment obesogenic in the experimental group after the intervention.

Conclusions

The Healthy Change intervention had a positive effect on the MPCW and associated variables in the experimental group. It is recommended to implement, refine, and evaluate it, in other populations, incorporate cognitive strategies to increase adequate MPCW and follow-up measurements to evaluate the long-term effect.