Nutrition Recommendation Intervention trialS in children’s Healthcare (NuRISH)

By: Dr. Jonathon Maguire, St. Michael's Hospital

Study Summary

Canada’s children are falling behind. One in 4 are overweight or obese and more than 1 in 3 have factors that put them at risk for cardiovascular disease as adults. Children from low income families are 70% more likely to be overweight or obese. Research across disciplines has shown that early life nutrition has profound effects on childhood obesity, development, mental health, and lifetime success. Optimizing early life nutrition to reduce inequalities in childhood obesity and its consequences is a promising approach.


NuRISH is a suite of innovative clinical trials for children from low-income families which will determine whether primary healthcare prescription for: 1) Optimal breastfeeding with support from a mobile lactation consultant vs. usual care; 2) Appropriate introduction to solid food at 6 months with mobile support vs. usual care; and 3) High-quality childcare starting at 1 year vs. usual care can prevent childhood obesity, and improve cardiovascular, developmental and mental health at 2 years of age.


We will use new cohort trial methods leveraging Canada’s largest childhood cohort study (TARGet Kids!) which will minimize cost and maximize feasibility. Parents and healthcare providers are involved in all aspects of this research. NuRISH holds promise to

level inequalities in early life nutrition which will help prevent the next generation of Canadian children from experiencing childhood obesity and its long term physical and mental health consequences.