JOURNAL ARTICLE

Limiting excess weight gain in healthy pregnant women: importance of energy intakes, physical activity, and adherence to gestational weight gain guidelines

Tamara R Cohen, Kristine G Koski
Journal of Pregnancy 2013, 2013: 787032
23533762
Few studies have investigated if compliance with energy intakes, physical activity, and weight gain guidelines attenuate postpartum weight retention (PPWR) in mothers attending prenatal classes. We investigated whether (a) daily energy intakes within 300 kcal of estimated energy requirements (EERs), (b) walking more than 5000 steps/day, (c) targeting the recommended weight gain goals for prepregnancy BMI, and/or (d) achieving weekly or total gestational weight gain (GWG) recommendations minimized PPWR in 54 women attending prenatal classes in Montreal/Ottawa, Canada. Participants completed a validated pregnancy physical activity questionnaire (PPAQ), 3 telephone-validated 24-hr dietary recalls, and wore a pedometer for one week. PPWR was measured 6 weeks after delivery. Results showed that 72% had healthy prepregnancy BMIs. However, 52% consumed >300 kcal/day in excess of their EER, 54% exceeded recommended GWG, and more overweight (93%) than normal weight women (38%) cited nonrecommended GWG targets. Following delivery, 33% were classified as overweight, and 17% were obese. Multiple logistic regressions revealed that women targeting "recommended weight gain advice" were 3 times more likely to meet total GWG recommendations (OR: 3.2, P < 0.05); women who complied with weekly GWG goals minimized PPWR (OR: 4.2, P < 0.02). In conclusion, appropriate GWG targets, lower energy intakes, and physical activity should be emphasized in prenatal education programs.

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