Effectiveness of a weight loss intervention in postpartum women: results from a randomized controlled trial in primary health care1

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Reproduction has been identified as an important factor for long-term weight gain among women. A previous efficacy trial has successfully produced postpartum weight loss; however, the effectiveness of this intervention needs to be established.


This study was designed to evaluate the short- and longterm effectiveness of a diet behavior modification treatment to produce weight loss in postpartum women within the primary health care setting in Sweden.


During 2011–2014, 110 women with a self-reported body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) of ≥27 at 6–15 wk postpartum were randomly assigned to the diet behavior modification group (D group) or the control group (C group). Women randomly assigned to the D group (n = 54) received a structured 12-wk diet behavior modification treatment by a dietitian and were instructed to gradually implement a diet plan based on the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations and to self-weigh ≥3 times/wk. Women randomly assigned to the C group (n = 56) were given a brochure on healthy eating. The primary outcome was change in body weight after 12 wk and 1 y. The retention rate was 91% and 85% at 12 wk and 1 y, respectively.


At baseline, women had a median (1st, 3rd quartile) BMI of 31.0 (28.8, 33.6), and 84% were breastfeeding. After 12 wk, median weight change in the D group was -6.1 kg (-8.4, -3.2 kg) compared with -1.6 kg (-3.5, -0.4 kg) in the C group (P < 0.001). The difference was maintained at the 1-y follow-up for the D group, -10.0 kg (-11.7, -5.9 kg) compared with -4.3 kg (-10.2, -1.0 kg) in the C group (P = 0.004). In addition, the D group reduced BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, and body fat percentage more than did the C group at both 12 wk and 1 y (all P < 0.05).


A low-intensity diet treatment delivered by a dietitian within the primary health care setting can produce clinically relevant and sustainable weight loss in postpartum women with overweight and obesity. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01949558.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles