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Monitored Diet Benefits Obese Pregnant Women

Study challenges conventional wisdom that calorie restriction leads to adverse outcomes

THURSDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- In obese pregnant women, placement on a monitored, calorie-appropriate nutritional regimen does not adversely affect perinatal outcomes and may result in less perinatal morbidity, according to a study published in the June issue of Journal of the National Medical Association.

Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., of the New York Medical College in Valhalla, and colleagues randomly assigned 257 patients to either conventional prenatal dietary management or a regimen that asked them to adhere to a balanced diet and keep a daily food diary.

The researchers observed no significant group differences in infant birth weight. Compared to controls, the researchers found that women in the intervention group were less likely to gain 15 pounds or more during their pregnancy. They also found that women who gained fewer than 15 pounds were less likely to experience complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, Caesarean delivery, and induced labor.

"Based on the findings in this study, consideration should be made that the conventional, nonspecific, ad libitum, 'eat to appetite' recommendations for obese pregnant women be replaced with an emphasis on instituting a monitored, healthy nutritional guideline, with the possibility of enlisting the support of a core nutritional program within a commercial weight management service adapted to the pregnant woman in order to attain the optimal benefits of a healthy pregnancy outcome," the authors conclude.

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