Nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and diet associated with postpartum weight retention in low-income and minority women

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Nuss, Henry Joseph

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The purpose of this research was to discern associations of nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and diet with postpartum weight retention 1 year following childbirth. Subjects for this research were low-income, Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white women recruited in a hospital 0 -- 1 day postpartum. In study 1, a nutrition attitudes scale was developed and validated in 134 low-income women at 1.5 months post-delivery. The final scale was administered to a second group of 206 women at 1.5, 6 and 12 months postpartum. Attitudes at each time were compared to demographics and weight status. Obese women at 1 year had higher barriers to healthful eating subscale averages than normal and overweight subjects at 1.5 and 6 months, and overweight participants at 12 months. Obese individuals also had greater emotional eating subscale scores than both normal and overweight subjects at 12 months. In study 2, a test of general nutrition knowledge was developed and validated in a sample of 151 women at 1 day post-delivery. The validated instrument was then administered to a test sample of 140 women at 0 and 12 months postpartum. Body weights were measured at 1.5, 6, and 12 months and height 1.5 months. Women with < 5% weight retention at 1 year had greater knowledge at 0 (53% vs.49%, p<0.05) and 12 months (55% vs. 51%, p <0.05) than those with >̲5%. Women who lactated >̲ 6 months had more knowledge than those who lactated < 6 months. In study 3, 182 women visited the research site at 1.5, 3, 6, and 12 months postpartum where dietary data were collected via one 24-hour recall and 2 days of diet records. Weight status was measured during each clinic visit; height was measured at 1.5 months. At 1 year postpartum, obese women had a greater percentage of energy from carbohydrates than their normal weight counterparts (52.5 % vs. 49.6%, p<0.05). Less than half of the population met the recommendations for folate, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, D, E and C at all time points, regardless of ethnicity, BMI and lactation status.



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