Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet and Activity to Limit Gestational Weight: Maternal Offspring Metabolics Family Intervention Trial, a Technology Enhanced Randomized Trial

Am J Prev Med. 2018 Nov;55(5):603-614. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.06.015. Epub 2018 Sep 24.


Introduction: Technology-enhanced antenatal diet and lifestyle intervention could prevent excess gestational weight gain and benefit mother and child.

Study design: A randomized clinical trial.

Setting/participants: Overweight and obese ethnically diverse pregnant women in Chicago, Illinois, were enrolled between October 2012 and December 2015, with antenatal data collection completed by July 2016. Analysis was completed June 2017.

Intervention: Participants were randomized when their fetus was gestational age 16 weeks to dietitian-led Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet and physical activity coaching that was received as three individual and six group counseling sessions by phone and webinar. A commercially available smartphone application was used for self-monitoring diet and physical activity. Telephone, text message prompts, and e-mail reminders encouraged adherence and website viewing. Usual-care, "web-watcher" participants were e-mailed biweekly newsletters and publicly available maternity website links.

Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was gestational weight gain measured at baseline, 24 weeks, and 35.0-36.6 weeks. Secondary outcomes included weekly rate of gestational weight gain, newborn anthropometrics, maternal diet quality, physical activity, and blood pressure.

Results: Among 281 participants randomized (n=140 in intervention, n=141 in usual care, BMI 25 to <40, and age range 18-40 years), 37% were non-white and 274 completed antenatal data collection (n=139 in the intervention group and n=135 in the usual-care group). Gestational weight gain differed significantly by intervention group (difference, 1.7kg, p=0.01) and rate of weight gain was 0.4 (SD=0.2) vs 0.5 (SD=0.2) kg/week. No significant differences were noted in birth weight, percentage body fat, or adverse pregnancy outcomes, but more cesarean sections (55 [40%] vs 37 [27%]) occurred among the intervention group.

Conclusions: Technology-enhanced Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet and lifestyle intervention resulted in significantly less total gestational weight gain over 35 weeks with no adverse infant outcomes. Nutrient quality improved without an adverse impact on rate of prematurity. Increased cesarean delivery requires further exploration. The National Academy of Medicine goals were not achieved by the majority of participants. Obesity prevention preconception is needed.

Trial registration: This study is registered at NCT01631747.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Chicago
  • Counseling
  • Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Gestational Weight Gain*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mobile Applications
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult

Associated data