Objective: The modifiable predictors of excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) are not clear. The objective of this study was to examine the associations of trimester-specific eating behaviors and eating patterns with GWG.
Methods: This is a secondary analysis of data from a 3-arm, randomized controlled trial. Data were collected at early pregnancy (< 28 weeks gestation: 1st and 2nd trimesters) and late pregnancy (32 weeks gestation to birth: 3rd trimester). Participants from all three arms who completed both early and late pregnancy assessments were included for analyses. Eating behaviors (i.e., compensatory restraint, routine restraint, emotional eating, external eating) and eating patterns (i.e., frequency of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, eating out at fast-food or full-service restaurants, consuming three meals, and snacking) were measured using online surveys. Weights were abstracted from the prenatal chart. Statistical analyses included multinomial logistic regressions.
Results: Participants (N=1,035) were predominantly white (77.4%) and had a mean age of 28.1±4.5 years. The mean GWG was 13.7±5.4 kg, and 44.7% of women had excessive GWG. Women’s eating patterns significantly predicted excessive GWG. Specifically, women who had a higher frequency of consuming soda or fruit drinks in the 2nd (≤1 time/month: reference; ≥5-6 times/week: OR=2.54, 95% CI 1.16-5.59) and 3rd trimesters (≤1 time/month: reference; ≥5-6 times/week: OR=1.73, 95% CI 0.95-3.14, marginally significant), eating at fast-food restaurants in the 3rd trimester (never or rarely: reference; 1 time/month: OR=2.42, 95% CI 1.31-4.48), consuming morning snacks in the 1st (never: reference; 3-4 times/week: OR=2.18, 95% CI 1.01-4.71) and 3rd trimesters (never: reference; 1-2 times/week: OR=1.36, 95% CI 0.96-3.20, marginally significant), and consuming lunch in the 3rd trimester (0-4 times/week: reference; 5-6 times/week: OR=1.98, 95% CI 0.98-4.01, marginally significant) were more likely to have excessive GWG. None of the examined eating behaviors significantly predicted excessive GWG.
Conclusion: Reducing the frequency of consuming soda or fruit drinks (2nd and 3rd trimesters), eating at fast-food restaurants (3rd trimester), and consuming snacks (1st and 3rd trimesters) may prevent or reduce excessive GWG.
Published Date: 2021-08-09; Received Date: 2021-07-15