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Today 40% of women in the UK gain excessive weight during. Higher pregnancy BMI is also more prevalent amongst groups of lower socioeconomic status and certain ethnicities.

Poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy and excessive weight gain may have lifelong consequences for their children, including increased risk of childhood and adult obesity, other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as poorer neurocognitive outcomes . Weight gained during an initial pregnancy may mean starting subsequent pregnancies overweight or obese – predisposing women to even greater risk of detrimental health outcomes.

Informed and confident parenting trumps income or background when it comes to a child’s long-term health and wellbeing. National charity, Best Beginnings, works to reduce inequalities by providing easy-to-understand video and written content and interactive tools, to empower parents to give their children the best start in life. Their primary portal is their co-created award-winning intervention – Baby Buddy App.

Healthy lifestyle messages are delivered to registered Baby Buddy app users through automatic, personalised, bite-sized, relevant daily information that educate in a slow-drip style. Even if parents do not actively engage in the app’s other interactive features.

Nutritional tips, exercise and recipe demos in the app, do not assume any experience in the kitchen, any nutritional knowledge, or access to anything more than limited cooking facilities, limited time and limited space.

Baby Buddy is available to all through Google Play and the App Store, either through organic searches or social prescription. However, it has been especially designed to engage those who are very young parents, from BAME groups and those not in education, training or employment – those at greater risk of poorer outcomes. It is also deployed by many hospital trusts to enhance practitioner communication with parents.

UCL researcher, Alex Rhodes, is currently investigating how technological innovation might be effectively harnessed to encourage healthy eating, physical activity and weight management in pregnancy. She is developing an intervention, using the COM-B model of behaviour change, that will be embedded within Baby Buddy. The intervention will build on the app’s current functionality, using behaviour change techniques such as goal-setting and self-monitoring, and introduce new features and interactivity to promote user-engagement.

We totally support Nutritank’s work and believe nutrition information should be more accessible for all.


For more information about the Baby Buddy App training and embedding, and analytics tracking programme please contact [email protected]

Stephanie Kronson

Stephanie Kronson is Director of Communications, Content and Digital at national charity, Best Beginnings. Best Beginnings is dedicated to tackling inequalities using a health by stealth educative and proportionate universalism approach. It focuses on pre-conception till child age three. The content and functionality of its resources are cocreated with parents, many royal colleges and other health organisations. Its primary portal, the Baby Buddy App, is available to all through Google Play and the App Store but is designed in particular for those who may not be in education, training or employment. Baby Buddy is also embedded, through training, in the maternity care pathways of 48 sites across the country and via grassroots organisations in areas of need. Best Beginnings campaigns and collaborates with other stakeholders to influence policy in the perinatal and early years period.

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