Effect of Behavioural Interventions for Obesity Prevention in Pregnancy on the Adequacy of Gestational Weight Gain and Retention: Metabolic Health of Indian Women

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The aim of this study was to measure the adequacy of gestational weight gain (GWG) in Indian women using various behavioural interventions during pregnancy, which primarily aim to observe the effects on obesity markers and weight retention. In this experimental study, one hundred and forty pregnant women underwent interventions in 5 groups, control (C), diet (D), home exercise (HE), supervised exercise (SE) and supervised exercise with diet (SED), from pregnancy through delivery with 2 months follow-up post-delivery. The outcome measures were GWG and baby birth weight. A one-way ANOVA indicated no differences in the mean GWG between groups (12.39±4.71 kg, p=0.947). The control group had the most (50%) and both the supervised exercise groups had the fewest (32%) women who gained above the recommended GWG, followed by the diet group (33.3%). The D and HE groups had the most women who gained within the GWG range, while both the SE and SED groups had the most women who gained below the GWG range. However, these results did not affect the birth weight between the groups (mean 2.96 kg±0.40, p=0.203). In women with normal BMIs, (18.5-22.9 kg/m2), the diet group had the most effective maintenance of adequate GWG, with 15%, 55%, and 30% of the women gaining above, within, and below the recommended GWG, respectively. The SE and SED groups had the least postpartum weight retention (PPWR) at 2 months, followed by the HM, D and C groups; i.e., the results showed a trend in the desired direction clinically, although they were not statistically significant (p=0.12). Supervised exercise can be effectively used as a pregnancy intervention to prevent excess GWG in Indian women. Diet counselling was found to be the next best intervention in combination with exercise, as well as for women with normal BMI.

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