Body Mass Index is Associated With Appropriateness of Weight Gain but not Leisure-Time Physical Activity During Pregnancy

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Little is known about how leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) influences gestational weight gain (GWG) among body mass index (BMI) categories. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between pregnancy LTPA and the proportion of normal, overweight, and obese women who meet GWG recommendations.


Participants included 449 subcohort women from the Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health (POUCH) study. LTPA was collapsed into 3 categories [(None, < 7.5 kcal/kg/wk (low), ≥ 7.5 kcal/kg/wk (recommended)]. GWG was categorized according to IOM recommendations (low, recommended, or excess). Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate relationships among LTPA, BMI, and GWG.


Overweight women were more likely to have high GWG vs. normal weight women (OR = 2.3, 95% CI 1.3–4.0). Obese women were more likely to experience low GWG (OR = 7.3, 95% CI 3.6–15.1; vs. normal and overweight women) or excess GWG (OR = 3.5, 95% CI 1.9–6.5; vs. normal weight women). LTPA did not vary by prepregnancy BMI category (P = .55) and was not related to GWG in any prepregnancy BMI category (P = .78).


Regardless of prepregnancy BMI, LTPA did not affect a woman’s GWG according to IOM recommendations. Results may be due to LTPA not differing among BMI categories.

Schlaff ( is with the Dept of Kinesiology, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI. Holzman is with the Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Mudd, Pfeiffer, and Pivarnik are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.