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Dieting History Predicts Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Most women with a history of restrained eating gain more weight than recommended

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In normal-weight, overweight and obese women, a pre-conceptional history of restrained eating behaviors is associated with gestational weight gains above Institute of Medicine recommendations. In underweight women, a similar history is associated with weight gains below the recommendations, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Sunni L. Mumford, of the Carolina Population Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues used the Revised Restraint Scale to assess pre-conception dieting practices in a prospective study of 1,223 pregnant women.

Compared to unrestrained eaters in the normal-weight, overweight and obese categories, the researchers found that restrained eaters or dieters in those categories gained between 1.6 and 2.8 kilograms more weight during pregnancy. Compared to unrestrained eaters in the underweight category, they found that restrained eaters or dieters gained about 1 kilogram less weight during pregnancy, although the difference was not statistically significant.

"Excessive gestational weight gain is of concern because of its association with postpartum weight retention," the authors conclude. "The dietary restraint tool is useful for identifying women who would benefit from nutritional counseling prior to or during pregnancy with regard to achieving targeted weight-gain recommendations."

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