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Obstetrics and Gynecology International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 878607, 9 pages
Research Article

Psychosocial Characteristics and Gestational Weight Change among Overweight, African American Pregnant Women

1Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
2Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
3Department of Physical Therapy, D’Youville College, Buffalo, NY 14201, USA
4Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Received 29 June 2012; Accepted 17 October 2012

Academic Editor: Edward V. Younglai

Copyright © 2012 Kelly C. Allison et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To describe psychosocial factors identified as contributors of weight gain in the general population and to examine the relationship between these factors and gestational weight gain among low socioeconomic status, African American, overweight pregnant women. Methods. African American women ( ) with a pregravid body mass index  kg/m2 completed measures of eating, sleep, and depressed mood between 14 and 24 weeks of gestation. Weight was tracked. Descriptive statistics, correlations, and linear regression modeling were used to characterize the sample and examine predictors of gestational weight gain. Results. Four percent screened positive for night eating syndrome, with 32% consuming at least 25% of their daily caloric intake after dinner (evening hyperphagia). None met criteria for binge eating disorder; 4% reported occasional binge episodes. Cognitive restraint over eating was low. Participants slept 7.1 ( ) h per night and reported 4.3 ( ) awakenings per week; 18% reported some level of depressed mood. Night and binge eating were related to each other, sleep quality, and depressed mood. Eating due to cravings was the only psychosocial variable to predict gestational weight gain. Conclusions. Depressed mood, night eating, and nighttime awakenings were common in this cohort, while cognitive restraint over eating was low. Most psychosocial variables were not predictive of excess gestational weight gain.