- People with higher food reward sensitivity are
more likely to overeat, leading to excessive calorie consumption and subsequent
- Healthy eating habits during
pregnancy ensure adequate maternal nutrition and growth and development of the
- Gestational weight gain is the most significant
factor towards postpartum weight retention
gain during pregnancy
and postpartum is natural, excessive
gestational weight gain poses a serious public health concern since it puts
both the mother and child at an increased risk of negative health outcomes.
Pregnancy Eating Attributes Study (PEAS) aims to understand the role of food
reward sensitivity in maternal diet and weight change during pregnancy and
postpartum by probing into the interplay of food reward sensitivity with
behavioral control, home food environment and related aspects of eating
behavior such as physical activity, stress, sleep and depression. It is a
prospective observational study of 450 women without any psychiatric or eating disorders
in the first
trimester of their pregnancy and includes women who are of normal weight,
overweight and obese.
‘PEAS is a study which aims at understanding the influence of behavioral and environmental factors on weight change during pregnancy and the postpartum period.’
tries to explore the role of food reward sensitivity, food reinforcement and
behavioral control in maternal weight change and dietary intake during
pregnancy and postpartum. Food reward sensitivity has a direct impact on
dietary intake and body weight. Individuals with higher food reward sensitivity
are more likely to eat more food, which leads to excessive calorie consumption
and subsequent obesity.
Similarly, those with high food reward sensitivity but
sufficiently high self-regulation of food intake may not consume excessively.
The reinforcement value of foods in a person's house also influences food
reward sensitivity, behavioral control, dietary intake and weight. Women with high food reward sensitivity and low
behavioral control who are exposed to highly palatable food are at an increased
risk for excess calorie intake and weight gain. Factors like stress, sleep and
depression also tend to have an impact on food reward sensitivity, behavioral
control, dietary intake and weight.
Eating Behavior during
eating habits during pregnancy
are recommended to promote adequate
maternal nutrition and proper growth and development of the fetus. In order to
obtain optimum nutrition, it is important to eat a balanced diet.
It is imperative to include
at least 2 servings of fruits and 4 servings of vegetables to meet the Vitamin
C and folic acid requirements. A minimum of 5 servings of whole grains and
cereals is recommended for meeting the increasing needs of energy and B-complex
vitamins. Three servings of protein-rich foods
like fish, chicken, eggs, soy,
legumes and sprouts are essential since proteins
are made of amino acids which are necessary for a strong and healthy placenta
to provide the adequate oxygen supply and nutrients to the fetus and production
of red blood cells. Dairy products being an important source of calcium
must be included since calcium helps build strong teeth and bones and facilitates proper functioning of
muscles and nerves. Lack of calcium intake during pregnancy increases the risk
of osteoporosis at a later stage.
weight retention can prove to be a significant contributor to long-term obesity
and associated health risks like diabetes
and cardiovascular ailments. Maximum weight loss occurs in the first three
months postpartum and continues at a slow pace until six months postpartum.
lactation, factors such as gestational weight gain, pregravid weight, age,
smoking, exercise history, and employment have been studied for understanding
postpartum weight loss. Out of all these factors, gestational weight gain is
the most influential factor in postpartum weight retention.
Institute of Medicine recommends
a weight gain of 11.5 - 16 kilograms for women with a normal pregravid body mass
index (BMI) of 19.8 to 26.
pregnancy-related weight gain
published in the American Journal of Public Health
revealed that adolescents and black patients are at
a greater risk for postpartum weight retention. It should become mandatory for family
physicians to create awareness regarding the risks of excessive weight
gain during pregnancy and subsequent obesity.
This study addresses many
important knowledge gaps by understanding the implications of food reward
sensitivity in maternal diet and weight change. However, the degree to which food
reward sensitivity is associated with dietary intake and weight change during
pregnancy or the interplay of food reward sensitivity with self-control, food
environment, and other eating and health-related behaviors has not been
Calculator - (http://www.americanpregnancy.org)
- Preventing Postpartum Weight Retention -
- Pregnancy Eating Attributes Study (PEAS)