Cultural adaptations of obesity-related behavioral prevention interventions in early childhood: A systematic review

Sarah Marshall, Sarah Taki, Yvonne Laird, Penelope Love, Li Ming Wen, Chris Rissel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Interventions for obesity prevention can effectively reduce obesity-related behaviors in young children. Understanding how to leverage and adapt evidence-based interventions is needed to improve reach among culturally and linguistically diverse families. This systematic review aimed to synthesize the approaches and outcomes of culturally adapted early childhood obesity-related behavioral prevention interventions. Multiple electronic databases were systematically searched in March 2021. All study designs were included if they reported cultural adaptations of an intervention targeting at least one obesity-related behavior (infant feeding, nutrition, physical activity, and/or sleep) among children aged 0–5 years. Studies that only conducted language translations or that developed new interventions were excluded. Two authors independently conducted critical appraisals using the Mixed Method Appraisal Tool. Findings were synthesized narratively, based on the Stages of Cultural Adaptation theoretical model and the Framework for Reporting Adaptations and Modifications-Enhanced. Twelve interventions met the inclusion criteria, with varied study designs. Few reported all aspects of cultural adaptation processes, and the cultural adaptation strategies documented varied. The results suggest that cultural adaptation of obesity-related behavioral prevention interventions targeting young children increases acceptability among target cultural groups, yet effectiveness is inconclusive due to a lack of trials. More detailed reporting of cultural adaptation processes and further effectiveness trials are needed to evaluate future work.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13402
Number of pages14
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number4
Early online date5 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of World Obesity Federation.


  • children
  • cultural adaptation
  • infants
  • minority populations


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