Attitudes toward weight gain during pregnancy: Results from the Norwegian mother and child cohort study (MoBa)

Authors

  • Rebecca A. Swann BS, MSPH,

    1. Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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  • Ann Von Holle MS,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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  • Leila Torgersen PhD,

    1. Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
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  • Kelly Gendall MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine and Women's Health, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia
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  • Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud MD,

    1. Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Norway
    3. Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, New York
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  • Cynthia M. Bulik PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 101 Manning Drive, CB #7160, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7160
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Abstract

Objective

To explore attitudes toward weight gain during pregnancy in women with and without eating disorders and across eating disorder subtypes, and to examine associations among weight-gain attitudes and actual gestational weight gain, infant birth weight, and infant size-for-gestational-age.

Method

Pregnant women (35,929) enrolled in the prospective population-based Norwegian mother and child cohort study (MoBa) provided information at approximately week 18 of gestation regarding eating disorders and weight gain attitudes. We explored these variables in women with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorder not otherwise specified, purging type, and binge eating disorder (BED).

Results

The presence of an eating disorderly was associated with greater worry over gestational weight gain. In women without eating disorders, greater worry was associated with higher gestational weight gain, higher infant weights, greater likelihood of a large-for-gestational-age infant, and reduced likelihood of a small-for-gestational-age infant. Women with BED who reported greater worry also experienced higher weight gains during pregnancy.

Discussion

Women with eating disorders tend to experience weight-gain-related worry during pregnancy. Early worry about gestational weight-gain may be a harbinger of high gestational gain. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord, 2009

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