Objective: To investigate the influence of food insecurity on women's stress, disordered eating, dietary fat intake, and weight during the postpartum period.
Methods: The association between marginal food security and food insecurity-measured during pregnancy and postpartum-and stress, disordered eating, dietary fat intake, and weight at 3 and 12 months postpartum was estimated using multivariate linear regression, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and health behaviors. Effect modification between level of food insecurity and prepregnancy weight status was assessed, hypothesizing a stronger association would be found among women who started pregnancy with overweight or obesity.
Results: Food insecurity status during pregnancy was strongly associated with higher levels of stress, disordered eating, and dietary fat intake at 3 and 12 months postpartum; during the postpartum period, food insecurity was associated with these measures at 12 months postpartum. A significant interaction was found between level of food insecurity and prepregnancy weight status; food insecurity was associated with greater weight and BMI at 12 months only among women with overweight or obesity.
Conclusions: In order to return to one's prepregnancy weight, women with overweight and obesity who face household food insecurity may need multipronged assistance that not only addresses having enough high-quality food, but also include stress reduction and eating behavior interventions.
© 2015 The Obesity Society.