Relationships between stress, demographics and dietary intake behaviours among low-income pregnant women with overweight or obesity

Public Health Nutr. 2019 Apr;22(6):1066-1074. doi: 10.1017/S1368980018003385. Epub 2019 Jan 9.


Objective: To identify demographic risk factors associated with high stress and examine the relationships between levels of stress, demographics and dietary fat, fruit and vegetable intakes in low-income pregnant women with overweight or obesity.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Setting: Participants were recruited from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children in Michigan, USA.ParticipantsParticipants (n 353) were non-Hispanic Black (black) or White (white).

Results: Women aged 35 years or older (OR=4·09; 95% CI 1·45, 11·51) and who had high school or less education (OR=1·88; 95% CI 1·22, 2·89) or were unemployed (OR=1·89; 95% CI 1·15, 3·12) were significantly more likely to report high stress than women who were younger, had at least some college education or were employed/homemakers. However, race and smoking status were not associated with level of stress. Women with high stress reported significantly lower fruit and vegetable intakes but not fat intake than women with low stress. Women aged 35 years or older reported significantly higher vegetable but not fat or fruit intake than women who were 18-24 years old. Black women reported significantly higher fat but not fruit or vegetable intake than white women. Education, employment and smoking status were not significantly associated with dietary intake of fat, fruits and vegetables.

Conclusions: Nutrition counselling on reducing fat and increasing fruit and vegetable intakes may consider targeting women who are black or younger or who report high stress, respectively.

Keywords: Fat intake; Fruit and vegetable intake; Low-income; Obesity; Pregnant women; Stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / methods*
  • Diet / psychology
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Dietary Fats
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Michigan / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Vegetables
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Fats