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Weight, Eating and Diet in Pregnancy
Impact of Pregnancy on Eating Behaviors, Weight Concern and Dietary Restraint
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Weight, Eating & Diet in Pregnancy

Weight Study Background
Excessive weight gain in pregnancy and retention of this weight gain is a well known problem. How women with a history of dietary restraint adjust to being pregnant, is of interest, as pregnancy epitomises many of the factors known to trigger overeating.

Weight Study Aim
To examine the impact of pregnancy on eating behaviour and weight concern and the role of dietary restraint in mediating any changes.

Weight Study Methods
Primigravid and non-pregnant nulliparous women completed a questionnaire to describe their profile characteristics, current health behaviours, eating behaviour and weight concern. The pregnant women completed additional retrospective items relating to these factors for the period prior to their pregnancy.

Weight Study Results
The pregnant women reported eating more, showed lower levels of dietary restraint, were less dissatisfied with their body shape and showed higher eating self efficacy than non-pregnant women. Compared to the months prior to their pregnancy, the pregnant women rated themselves as less restrained in their eating behaviour and nearly half stated that they were eating more. In terms of the impact of pre pregnancy levels of dietary restraint, the results showed a significant interaction between restrained eating and pregnancy for both hunger and eating self efficacy. The results showed that the restrained eaters, when pregnant, rated themselves as significantly less hungry and reported less difficulty controlling their food intake than the non pregnant restrained eaters but showed comparable hunger and eating control to the other groups. The results showed no effect of restrained eating on weight change.

Weight Study Conclusion
The results suggest that pregnancy both legitimises increased food intake and removes any previous intentions to eat less.

Source: International Journal of Obesity

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