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Weight Retention After Pregnancy
Reducing Postpartum Body Weight
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Reducing Postpartum Weight Retention

Weight Loss Study Aim
Since post-pregnancy weight retention may contribute to the development of obesity, we sought to determine whether a behavioral weight loss intervention was effective in returning women to their pre-pregnancy weight.

Weight Loss Study Method
Ninety women who had given birth in the past 3-12 months and whose weight exceeded their pre-pregnancy weight by at least 6.8 kg were randomly assigned to either: a) a six-month behavioral weight loss intervention, delivered via correspondence or b) a no-treatment control group. Assessments of body weight, physical activity and eating patterns were conducted at pre-treatment and six months (post-treatment).

Weight Loss Study Results
During the six month treatment, subjects in the correspondence condition lost significantly more weight than control subjects (7.8 kg vs. 4.9 kg) and lost a greater percentage of their excess postpartum weight (79 percent vs. 44 percent). Furthermore, a significantly greater percentage of correspondence subjects than controls returned to their pre-pregnancy weight (33 percent vs. 11.5 percent). Weight loss in the correspondence group was correlated with completion of self-monitoring records.

Weight Loss Study Conclusion
A behavioral weight loss intervention, delivered via correspondence, appears to be effective in reducing women's postpartum weight retention. Future studies should examine the acceptability and the long-term impact of a correspondence postpartum weight loss intervention.

Source: International Journal of Obesity

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