Intervention strategies for preventing excessive gestational weight gain: systematic review and meta-analysis

C. Shieh, D. L. Cullen, C. Pike, S. J. Pressler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations


Background: Interventions relevant to energy intake to prevent excessive gestational weight gain in pregnant overweight and obese women are important but scarce. This review synthesized healthy eating and physical activity strategies and their effects on excessive gestational weight gain prevention. Methods: Twenty-three randomized controlled trials that included healthy eating and/or physical activity as an intervention in healthy pregnant overweight or obese adult women and gestational weight gain as a primary or secondary outcome were reviewed. Findings: Heathy eating and/or physical activity (21 studies, n = 6,920 subjects) demonstrated 1.81 kg (95% CI: −3.47, −0.16) of gestational weight gain reduction favouring intervention. Healthy eating (−5.77 kg, 95% CI: −9.34, −2.21, p = 0.02) had a larger effect size than combined healthy eating/physical activity (−0.82 kg, 95% CI: −1.28, −0.36, p = 0.0005) in limiting gestational weight gain. Physical activity did not show a significant pooled effect. Healthy eating with prescribed daily calorie and macronutrient goals significantly limited gestational weight gain by 4.28 kg and 4.23 kg, respectively. Conclusion: Healthy eating and/or physical activity are effective in gestational weight gain control. Healthy eating with calorie and macronutrient goals are especially effective in limiting excessive gestational weight gain among pregnant overweight and obese women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1109
Number of pages17
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Gestational weight gain
  • meta-analysis
  • obesity
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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