HAPPY Feasibility Randomised Control Trial (McEachan et al., 2016)


HAPPY (Healthy and Active Parenting Programme in the Early Years) is a 12-session programme designed for pregnant women with a BMI of over 25. Half of the sessions are delivered antenatally and the other half postnatally. You can read more about the HAPPY programme and practitioner training here.


The Bradford Institute for Health Research conducted a feasibility randomised controlled trial of the HAPPY programme. 120 pregnant women with a BMI of over 25 were recruited to take part and were randomly allocated to either the intervention group (HAPPY programme) or the control group (usual care).

Alongside feasibility outcomes, including recruitment and attrition rates, and acceptability of the intervention, infants in both groups were also weighed.


The results showed that at 12 months 45% of the control group were overweight, while 23% of the HAPPY group were overweight. The authors usggest that while the study was not sufficiently powered to detect a definitive effect, the results suggest a potential to reduce the risk of infant obesity.


Authors: Rosemary R. C. McEachan, Gillian Santorelli, Maria Bryant, Pinki Sahota, Diane Farrar, Neil Small, Shaheen Akhtar, Judith Sargent, Sally E. Barber, Natalie Taylor, Gerry Richardson, Amanda J. Farrin, Raj S. Bhopal, Daniel D. Bingham, Sara M. Ahern and John Wright.


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