Prenatal Weight Gain: Relationship between Food Cravings and Prenatal Weight Gain
AdvisorInsel, Kathleen C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractInterventions to date have been minimally effective in reducing the rates of women gaining more weight than recommended by the Institute of Medicine in pregnancy. Food cravings are common in pregnancy, but their relationship, if any, with prenatal weight gain has received little attention in the literature. The purpose of this retrospective chart review study was to describe the frequency of cravings, associations between cravings and weight gain, and to determine what factors were predictive of reporting more cravings in pregnancy. A total of 1,259 charts were reviewed of women receiving care in an urban, community health center between 2006 and 2012. Women with healthy, singleton pregnancies were eligible to be included in the study. Of the 812 eligible women, 620 were excluded due to incomplete data. One-third of women in the sample (n = 194) were primiparous women. Their mean BMI was 28.3 (SD = 6.9). Almost 80% identified themselves as being Multi-Racial or African American. Cravings were reported by 75.3% of women in early pregnancy and 81.4% in late pregnancy. No differences in prenatal weight gain were seen between women with and without cravings. BMI, smoking, stress in early pregnancy, and emotional distress were not related to the numbers of cravings reported in pregnancy. The results of multiple regression analyses indicated that two predictors, age and stress in late pregnancy, accounted for 8.7% of the variance in the numbers of cravings reported in pregnancy (R² =.087, R² adjusted = .070, F (2, 108) = 5.14, p = .007). Younger age was associated with reporting a greater number of cravings, β = -.205, t (110) = -2.222, p =.028, as was higher stress in late pregnancy, β = .201, t (110) =2.184, p =.031. The findings of this study suggest that cravings are not related to prenatal weight gain, although the quality of this study was undermined by its small sample size and problems with the way cravings were measured. Developing a valid and reliable measure of cravings would be a fruitful next step.
Degree ProgramGraduate College