Home Medizin Gemeinsame Essgewohnheiten von Paaren wirken sich laut Studie auf die Gewichtszunahme während der Schwangerschaft aus

Gemeinsame Essgewohnheiten von Paaren wirken sich laut Studie auf die Gewichtszunahme während der Schwangerschaft aus

von NFI Redaktion

In a recent article published in the journal Nutrients, researchers in the US conducted a cohort study to examine the relationship between gestational weight gain (GWG) and the eating habits of pregnant individuals and their non-pregnant partners.

The results suggest that poor cognitive restraint was associated with higher GWG, indicating that restrained eating in couples could reduce GWG and the risk of infant macrosomia, cesarean section, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

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Excess GWG is associated with increased risk of infant macrosomia, preeclampsia, cesarean section, and GDM. It is also linked to pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), and nutrition-oriented interventions during pregnancy are effective in reducing GWG.

While pregnancy is often associated with increased eating and snacking, less is known about which eating behaviors may contribute to excessive GWG. The influence of the eating habits of the non-pregnant partner has also not been studied.

About the Study

In this study, researchers hypothesized that the non-pregnant partner could influence household food consumption and promote healthy eating attitudes and habits during pregnancy.

They proposed that couple behavior would be most strongly associated with GWG, followed by the behavior of the pregnant individual alone. They expected the weakest association between the behavior of the non-pregnant individual and GWG.

The pregnant individuals included in the study had a BMI between 18.5 and 35, were over 21 years old, had only one other child, and were either planning a pregnancy or were under 10 weeks gestation.

Individuals receiving fertility treatments, those with existing medical conditions, taking medications that could affect fetal growth, drinking alcohol, or smoking during pregnancy were excluded.

Demographic factors such as marital status, age, ethnicity, race, individual income, and education level were included. The weight and GWG of the pregnant individual were measured in the first and third trimesters, while the partner’s weight was measured once. BMI was calculated using weight and height, and GWG was classified as normal, overweight, or obese.

An eating inventory was used to assess eating behavior and attitudes, such as perceived hunger, dietary disinhibition, and cognitive restraint. A higher score for each of these components indicated poorer eating behavior. A couple’s score was calculated as the average of the two individual scores.

The perceived hunger component, ranging from 0 to 14, assessed a person’s susceptibility to feelings of hunger, while the dietary disinhibition (0-18) evaluated the tendency to consume too much palatable food. The cognitive restraint component (0-21) examined a person’s ability to restrict their food intake to maintain their weight.

Adjusted general linear models were used in the data analysis to investigate statistical associations and calculate odds ratios.


The study included 218 pregnant individuals (average age 30.3 years) and 157 non-pregnant partners (average age 31.4 years). The average BMI of the pregnant individuals was 26.1, while partners had an average BMI of 28.5. Non-pregnant partners were more likely to be obese, earn over $40,000, and have at least a college degree.

For the entire cohort, the mean GWG was 11.8 kg, with almost half experiencing excess GWG. Only one in three pregnant individuals with normal weight experienced excess GWG compared to 63% of overweight individuals and 52.2% of those with obesity.

Approximately 57%, 86%, and 89% of pregnant participants scored low on the cognitive restraint, dietary disinhibition, and perceived hunger components. Those with normal weight were more likely to score low. Non-pregnant partners on average scored lower than their partners, indicating healthier eating habits.

The results of the unadjusted models showed that higher scores for each of the components were associated with higher GWG. The association remained significant for the cognitive restraint score after adjusting for BMI in early pregnancy and demographic factors.

There were no significant associations between non-pregnant partner scores and GWG. However, there was a significant positive association between a couple’s score for cognitive restraint and GWG. Specifically, an increase of one unit in cognitive restraint was associated with an average increase of 0.23 kg in GWG; this finding persisted even after adjusting for BMI and demographic factors.


The results of this study suggest that cohesive partnerships promote better eating behaviors and optimal GWG. The implication is that involving both partners in dietary interventions could lead to better outcomes than targeting the pregnant individual alone.

A limitation of this study is that it did not assess food or energy intake, which could be predicted by eating behavior. Sleep and physical activity, both of which can contribute to GWG, were also not considered in this analysis.

Journal Reference:

  • Sparks, JR, Redman, LM, Drews, KL, Sims, CR, Krukowski, RA, Andres, A. (2024). Healthy eating habits in couples contribute to lower gestational weight gain. Nutrients. DOI: 10.3390/nu16060822, Link to Study

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