Inappropriate eating behaviors during pregnancy: Prevalence and associated factors among pregnant women attending primary care in southern Brazil


  • Presented, in part, at the 2008 International Conference on Eating Disorders, Seattle, U.S., May 15–17, 2008.



To examine the prevalence of inappropriate eating behaviors and associated factors among pregnant women in primary care.


The Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire was used to assess eating disorders and the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders was used to examine anxiety and depressive symptoms. Body mass index (BMI) and pregestational weight were also assessed.


Prevalence of binge eating during pregnancy was 17.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 14.5–20.0], followed by excessive shape (5.6%; 95% CI 4–8) and weight concerns (5.5%; 95% CI 4–8). Binge eating during pregnancy was significantly associated with binge eating before pregnancy [prevalence ratio (PR) = 3.1; 95% CI 2.2–4.3], current anxiety symptoms (PR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.3–2.4), and prepregnancy BMI < 19.8 kg/m2 (PR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.1–2.5). The prevalence of eating disorders was 0.6% (95% CI 0.01–1.11).


Eating disorder symptoms should be routinely assessed and treated during prenatal care, along with other comorbid psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord, 2009