February 26, 2014
Science Daily/Penn State
Overweight or obese women with the mentality that they are 'eating for two' are more likely to experience excessive weight gain while pregnant, according to research. Researchers interviewed 29 post-partum women who were overweight or obese before pregnancy. Participants in the study were asked about their diet habits, experience with morning sickness and physical activity habits during pregnancy.
Those who gained the appropriate amount of weight stuck to a meal plan and chose foods carefully. These women also had little or no increase in the amount of calories they consumed during pregnancy and exercised as much or more than they had before the pregnancy. Women who gained excessive weight described the experience as "eating for two." They had fewer goals and exercised less than usual during their pregnancy. They also made less healthy food choices and ate more as a result of cravings.
Too much weight gain during pregnancy can lead to postpartum and long-term weight gain and obesity. It can also cause premature birth and other unfavorable events. Women should be advised and receive feedback on weight gain goals by prenatal care providers before pregnancy or early into it.