Diet or exercise, or both, for weight reduction in women carrying excess weight after childbirth

Adegboye, A.R. and Linné, Y. 2012. Diet or exercise, or both, for weight reduction in women carrying excess weight after childbirth. The Cochrane Library.

TitleDiet or exercise, or both, for weight reduction in women carrying excess weight after childbirth
AuthorsAdegboye, A.R. and Linné, Y.
Abstract

Women naturally gain weight during pregnancy and many gradually lose it afterwards. Some women, though, find it difficult to lose the gained weight in the year or two following the birth of the baby and there is concern that this may be a health risk for them. The retention of weight gained during pregnancy may contribute to obesity, which can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. It is suggested that women who return to their pre-pregnancy weight by about six months have a lower risk of being overweight 10 years later. The review looked for randomised studies to assess the impact of dieting or exercise, or both, on women's weight loss in the months after giving birth. It paid particular attention to breastfeeding women to be sure that breastfeeding was not compromised. The review of trials found 14 studies, with 12 studies involving 910 women carrying excess weight after childbirth that contributed data for analysis. The findings suggest that diet combined with exercise or diet alone compared with usual care seemed to help with weight loss after giving birth. There is potential for these interventions to play a role in preventing future maternal obesity. There was not sufficient evidence to be sure that exercise or diet did not interfere with breastfeeding though it appeared not to in the included studies. It seems preferable to lose weight through a combination of dieting and exercise, compared to dieting alone, because exercise is thought to improve circulation and heart fitness, and to preserve lean body mass. Further research is needed.

Year2012
PublisherThe Cochrane Library
Publication dates
Published23 Jul 2013

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