Eating attitudes and behaviors in pregnancy and postpartum: global stability versus specific transitions.
Global changes in eating attitudes were examined prospectively across pregnancy and 4 months postpartum in a sample of 90 women. In addition, specific changes in dieting behavior and weight/shape satisfaction were assessed at 4 months postpartum for concurrent and retrospective time points. Measures included the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) and weight/shape satisfaction in pregnancy and at 4 months postpartum, as well as prepregnancy, pregnancy, and postpartum weight loss efforts. While global EAT scores were stable across time, dieting scores (Factor I) increased between pregnancy and postpartum. Weight/shape satisfaction was higher in pregnancy, and satisfaction was related to EAT scores at 4 months postpartum but not during pregnancy. Prepregnancy dieters and nondieters were best discriminated by higher weights, elevated pregnancy dieting scores, and lower postpartum weight/shape satisfaction. Results emphasize the importance of looking beyond changes in global eating attitudes and behaviors to more specific eating concerns or behaviors. Lastly, the results have implications for identifying women at risk for eating- and weight-related concerns during this period of rapid physical change.
Baker, CW; Carter, AS; Cohen, LR; Brownell, KD
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