Background: The objectives of this study were to assess the efficacy of lifestyle intervention on gestational weight gain in pregnant women with normal and above normal body mass index (BMI) in a randomized controlled trial.
Methods: A total of 116 pregnant women (<20 weeks of pregnancy) without diabetes were enrolled and 113 pregnant women completed the program. Participants were randomized into intervention and control groups. Women in the intervention group received weekly trainer-led group exercise sessions, instructed home exercise for 3-5-times/week during 20-36 weeks of gestation, and dietary counseling twice during pregnancy. Participants in the control group did not receive the intervention. All participants completed a physical activity questionnaire and a 3-day food record at enrolment and 2 months after enrolment.
Results: The participants in the intervention group with normal pre-pregnancy BMI (≤24.9 kg/M2, n = 30) had lower gestational weight gain (GWG), offspring birth weight and excessive gestational weight gain (EGWG) on pregnancy weight gain compared to the control group (n = 27, p < 0.05). Those weight related-changes were not detected between the intervention (n = 27) and control group (n = 29) in the above normal pre-pregnancy BMI participants. Intervention reduced total calorie, total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol intake were detected in women with normal or above normal pre-pregnancy BMI compared to the control group (p < 0.05 or 0.01). Increased physical activity and reduced carbohydrate intake were detected in women with normal (p < 0.05), but not above normal, pre-pregnancy BMI at 2 months after the onset of the intervention compared to the control group.
Conclusion: The results of the present study demonstrated that the lifestyle intervention program decreased EGWG, GWG, offspring birth weight in pregnant women with normal, but not above normal, pre-pregnancy BMI, which was associated with increased physical activity and decreased carbohydrate intake.
Trial registration: NCT00486629.