Diet quality and weight change among overweight and obese postpartum women enrolled in a behavioral intervention program.
BACKGROUND: Postpartum weight retention is a risk factor for long-term weight gain. Encouraging new mothers to consume a healthy diet may result in weight loss. OBJECTIVE: To assess predictors of diet quality during the early postpartum period; to determine whether diet quality, energy intake, and lactation status predicted weight change from 5 to 15 months postpartum; and to determine whether an intervention improved diet quality, reduced energy intake, and achieved greater weight loss compared with usual care. DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial (KAN-DO: Kids and Adults Now-Defeat Obesity), a family- and home-based, 10-month, behavioral intervention to prevent childhood obesity, with secondary aims to improve diet and physical activity habits of mothers to promote postpartum weight loss. PARTICIPANTS: Overweight/obese, postpartum women (n=400), recruited from 14 counties in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. INTERVENTION: Eight education kits, each mailed monthly; motivational counseling; and one group class. METHODS: Anthropometric measurements and 24-hour dietary recalls collected at baseline (approximately 5 months postpartum) and follow-up (approximately 10 months later). Diet quality was determined using the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005). STATISTICAL ANALYSES: Descriptive statistics, χ(2), analysis of variance, bi- and multivariate analyses were used. RESULTS: At baseline, mothers consumed a low-quality diet (HEI-2005 score=64.4 ± 11.4). Breastfeeding and income were positive, significant predictors of diet quality, whereas body mass index was a negative predictor. Diet quality did not predict weight change. However, total energy intake, not working outside of the home, and breastfeeding duration/intensity were negative predictors of weight loss. There were no significant differences in changes in diet quality, decreases in energy intake, or weight loss between the intervention (2.3 ± 5.4 kg) and control (1.5 ± 4.7 kg) arms. CONCLUSIONS: The family-based intervention did not promote postpartum weight loss. Reducing energy intake, rather than improving diet quality, should be the focus of weight-loss interventions for overweight/obese postpartum women.
Wiltheiss, GA; Lovelady, CA; West, DG; Brouwer, RJN; Krause, KM; Østbye, T
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)