Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 938–949 | Cite as

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Regarding Weight Gain During Pregnancy Among Hispanic Women

  • Alison TovarEmail author
  • Lisa Chasan-Taber
  • Odilia I. Bermudez
  • Raymond R. Hyatt
  • Aviva Must


Pregnancy weight gain may be a risk factor for the development of obesity highlighting the importance of identifying psychosocial risk factors for pregnancy weight gain. The goal of this qualitative pilot study was to evaluate knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding weight gain during pregnancy among predominantly Puerto Rican women, a group with higher rates of obesity as compared to non-Hispanic white women. We conducted four focus groups stratified by level of acculturation and BMI. Women reported receiving advice about pregnancy weight gain predominantly from nutritionists and family members rather than from their physicians. The majority of overweight/obese women reported that they had not received any recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy from physicians. Pregnancy weight gain advice was not consistent with the 1990 Institute of Medicine Guidelines. Overall, attitudes towards weight gain recommendations differed by weight status, whereas feelings and dietary beliefs about weight gain differed according to level of acculturation. Our findings inform behavior change strategies for meeting pregnancy weight gain recommendations.


Pregnancy Weight gain Hispanic Psychosocial risk factors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison Tovar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lisa Chasan-Taber
    • 2
  • Odilia I. Bermudez
    • 3
  • Raymond R. Hyatt
    • 3
  • Aviva Must
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and PolicyTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Biostatistics & Epidemiology School of Public Health & Health SciencesUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and Community MedicineTufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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