Maternal Obesity and Patterns in Postnatal Diet, Physical Activity and Weight among a Highly Deprived Population in the UK: The GLOWING Pilot Trial

Nicola Heslehurst*, Emer Cullen, Angela C. Flynn, Chloe Briggs, Lewis Smart, Judith Rankin, Elaine McColl, Falko F. Sniehotta, Catherine McParlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preconception obesity is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and deprivation. The postnatal period provides an opportunity for preconception intervention. There is a lack of published postnatal behaviour and weight data to inform intervention needs. Secondary analysis of the GLOWING study explored postnatal diet, physical activity (PA) and weight among women living with obesity in deprivation. Thirty-nine women completed food frequency and PA questionnaires and provided weight measurement(s) between 3–12 months postnatal. Women’s diet and PA fell short of national guidelines, especially for fruit/vegetables (median 1.6–2.0 portions/day) and oily fish (0–4 g/day). PA was predominantly light intensity. Patterns in weight change across time points indicated postnatal weight loss compared with 1st (median −0.8 to −2.3 kg) and 3rd-trimester weights (−9.0 to −11.6 kg). Weight loss was higher among women without excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) (−2.7 to −9.7 kg) than those with excessive GWG (2.3 to −1.8 kg), resulting in postnatal weight measurements lower than their 1st trimester. These pilot data suggest preconception interventions should commence in pregnancy with a focus on GWG, and postnatal women need early support to achieve guideline-recommendations for diet and PA. Further research in a larger population could inform preconception intervention strategies to tackle inequalities in maternal obesity and subsequent pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3805
Number of pages13
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

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