Self-weighing curbs excess weight gain

Melbourne: “Pregnant women who weigh themselves every week can control excessive weight gain during pregnancy, according to a new study.

"Preventing excess weight gain in pregnancy is essential to the health of all mothers and their babies and can be achieved by increasing awareness (of weight during pregnancy) and by simple health messages, behavior change strategies, and regular monitoring of weight gain," said lead author Catherine Lombard, PhD, of the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Melbourne, Australia.

The clinical trial consisted of more than 200 overweight women who were less than 15 weeks pregnant. All women were at high risk of developing gestational diabetes (pregnancy-related diabetes) because of their age, weight, ethnicity, previous gestational diabetes or a family history of diabetes. The women were randomly assigned to the intervention group (106 women) or control group (99 women).

At 14 weeks of pregnancy, both groups received health information but the intervention group also received information about how much weight they should gain during pregnancy, and they were instructed to weigh themselves weekly or monthly, while control group received no instruction or reminders to self-weigh.

At 28 weeks regular self-weighing was associated with significantly less pregnancy weight gain for intervention participants than for the control participants that is 12.6 pounds versus 15.7 pounds, respectively. Women in both groups who did not self-weigh gained a similar amount of weight, an average of 15.2 pounds.

"We conclude, that self-weighing keeps women focused on their behavior. When it is paired with a simple self-management intervention to prevent excess weight gain, it has a significant impact on weight gain in high-risk pregnancies," said Lombard.

The study was presented at The Endocrine Society`s 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.


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