INFANT has been identified in a US Centre for Disease Control-funded review as the strongest international model for wide-spread implementation of a community complementary feeding intervention.
The review titled ‘Complementary Feeding Interventions for Infants and Young Children Under Age 2: Scoping of Promising Interventions to Implement at the Community or State Level (2023)’ was published in October by the and conducted by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The scoping review, overseen by a committee of nine internationally renowned health experts, assessed interventions aimed at improving infant and young child feeding behaviours in developed countries-based peer-reviewed published literature and other publicly available information.
Of the 83 studies and 58 interventions reviewed internationally, it determined the INFANT program to be ‘The strongest model for translating findings from a ‘Randomised Control Trial’ to widespread implementation of an intervention in the community’.
Principal Investigator of INFANT, Associate Professor Rachel Laws highlighted that many of the report recommendations for scale up are currently being implemented in the Australian context.
“This includes using a hybrid model (INFANT group sessions are now complemented with an evidenced based app), use of standard operating procedures to support fidelity of implementation, rigorous ongoing assessment of effectiveness at scale, engagement of key stakeholders throughout and advocacy for policy and funding support to sustain program scale up.”
“More recently we have commenced work with our practice and policy partners to identify adaptations to INFANT to improve cultural and linguistic fit for our culturally diverse population.”
The review recognises that the translation of research findings into policy is a challenging but essential step in the pathway by which scientific evidence advances societal goals, in this case, promoting the nutritional health of young children. The evaluation of scale up of INFANT in collaboration with our practice and policy partners provides this critical implementation research needed to bridge the gap between research and practice
A/Prof Laws hopes that this review will support scale up of INFANT both nationally and internationally, and ultimately assist the promotion of healthy eating and active play in early childhood.
For more information, read the full report here.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Complementary feeding interventions for infants and young children under age 2: Scoping of promising interventions to implement at the community or state level. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/27239.