The effect of high dietary fiber intake on gestational weight gain, fat accrual, and postpartum weight retention: a randomized clinical trial

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2020 May 24;20(1):319. doi: 10.1186/s12884-020-03016-5.


Background: Interventions to prevent excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) have had limited success This pilot study examined the effectiveness of a single goal (SG) high dietary fiber intervention to prevent excessive GWG.

Methods: Twelve weekly lessons focused on consuming a high fiber diet (≥30 g/day). Snacks containing 10-12 g of dietary fiber were given for the first 6 weeks only. Body composition was measured at baseline and at the end of the intervention. At one-year postpartum, body weight retention and dietary practices were assessed. A p-value is reported for the primary analysis only. For all other comparisons, Cohen's d is reported to indicate effect size.

Results: The SG group increased fiber intake during the study (32 g/day at 6 weeks, 27 g/day at 12 weeks), whereas the UC group did not (~ 17 g/day). No differences were found for the proportion of women classified as excessive gainers (p = 0.13). During the intervention, the SG group gained less body weight (- 4.1 kg) and less fat mass (- 2.8 kg) (d = 1.3). At 1 year postpartum, the SG group retained less weight (0.35 vs. 4.4 kg, respectively, d = 1.8), and reported trying to currently eat high fiber foods.

Conclusion: The SG intervention resulted in less weight gain, fat accrual, and weight retention at 1 year postpartum. A residual intervention effect was detected postpartum with the participants reporting continued efforts to consume a high fiber diet.

Trial registration: NCT03984630; Trial registered June 13, 2019 (retrospectively registered).

Keywords: Body fat; Dietary fiber; Excessive weight gain; High fiber; Pregnancy; Single goal intervention.

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