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Maternal body dissatisfaction in pregnancy, postpartum and early parenting: An overlooked factor implicated in maternal and childhood obesity risk

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journal contribution
posted on 19.11.2019, 14:28 by Heidi Bergmeier, Briony Hill, Emma Haycraft, Claire Blewitt, Siew Lim, Caroline Meyer, Helen Skouteris
Background: Current evidence indicates that to prevent the intergenerational transfer of overweight and obesity from parent to child, interventions are needed across the early life stages, from preconception to early childhood. Maternal body image is an important but often overlooked factor that is potentially implicated in both short- and long-term maternal and child health outcomes, including maternal gestational weight gain, postpartum weight retention, obesity, child feeding practices and early parenting. Aim: The aim of this paper is to propose a conceptual model of the relationship between maternal body image (with a specific focus on body dissatisfaction) and maternal and child excess body weight risk across the pregnancy, postpartum and early childhood periods, as well as to highlight opportunities for intervention. Conclusion: Our conceptual model proposes factors that mediate the associations between antenatal and postpartum maternal body dissatisfaction and maternal and childhood obesity risk. Pregnancy and postpartum present key risk periods for excess weight gain/retention and body dissatisfaction. Psychosocial factors associated with maternal body dissatisfaction, including psychopathology and disordered eating behaviours, may increase maternal and child obesity risk as well as compromise the quality of mother-child interactions underpinning child development outcomes, including physical weight gain. Our conceptual model may be useful for understanding modifiable psychosocial factors for preventing the intergenerational transfer of obesity risk from mothers to their children, from as early as pregnancy, and highlights next steps for multidisciplinary research focused on combatting maternal and child obesity during critical risk periods.

Funding

Medical Research Future Fund Boosting Preventative Health Research Program (TABP-18-0001)

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Appetite

Volume

147

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Appetite and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2019.104525.

Acceptance date

18/11/2019

Publication date

2019-11-19

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0195-6663

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Emma Haycraft. Deposit date: 18 November 2019

Article number

104525

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