Underestimating weight may make obese women over-gain during pregnancy

December 23rd, 2008 - 4:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 23 (ANI): Researchers at Temple University have found that overweight or obese women who underestimate their weight status are more likely to over-gain during pregnancy.

The research team was led by Sharon Herring, MD, MPH, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Temple University.

“Compared to normal weight women who accurately assessed their pre-pregnancy weight status, the odds of gaining excessively during pregnancy were increased seven-fold among overweight and obese women who thought they weighed less than they really did. Normal weight women who thought they were overweight had twice the odds of excessive gestational weight gain,” Herring said.

For the study, the researchers examined 1537 women enrolled in Project Viva, a US birth cohort, who were normal weight, overweight or obese at the beginning of their pregnancies.

Underweight women were not included. Of the 1029 normal weight participants, 898 correctly reported that they were normal weight just prior to pregnancy, while 131 incorrectly thought they were overweight or obese.

Of the remaining women who were overweight or obese, 438 accurately perceived their body weight status, while 70 under-assessed their size before pregnancy.

Compared with normal weight women who accurately perceived their pre-pregnancy weight status, overweight or obese under-assessors were younger, more likely to be non-white, of lower income, less educated, and single.

These women consumed fewer fruits and vegetables during their pregnancies, but did not differ from normal weight accurate assessors in amount of vigorous activity or fried food intake.

On the other hand, normal weight over-assessors were relatively similar in all characteristics to their accurate assessor counterparts. (ANI)

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