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Weight Gain Study
Effects of Sociodemographic and Behavioral Factors on Weight Increase
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Parity-Associated Weight Gain Study

Weight Gain Study Aim
Research how parity increase and weight gain is modified by sociodemographic and behavioral factors.

Weight Gain Study Method
Prospective longitudinal data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I, 1971-75) and its follow-up of those aged 25 years and older, the NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Survey (NHEFS, 1982-84).

Weight Gain Study Subjects
The analytical sample was nationally representative of the United States and included 2952 white or African-American non-pregnant women aged 25-45 years at baseline, who were re-measured approximately 10 years later.

Weight Gain Study Results
Factors that increased parity-associated weight gain included being African-American, living in a rural area, not working outside the home, having fewer children, lower income and lower education, and being unmarried. Among white women, being younger and having higher body weight at baseline increased parity-associated weight gain, while among African-American women, being older and having lower body weight increased parity-associated weight gain. African-American smokers gained less weight with an increase in parity, while the interactions between smoking and physical activity with parity-associated weight gain in whites were complex.

Weight Gain Study Conclusion
The effects of sociodemographic and behavioral factors on parity-associated weight gain varied by race and parity change, with the most consistent findings being that unmarried and unemployed white women had greater parity-associated weight gain, while both white and African-American women who smoked, had higher education, or higher parity had lower parity-associated weight gain. This information may contribute to better targeting and more effective interventions to prevent postpartum weight retention.

Source: International Journal of Obesity

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