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Special Issue "Nutrition, Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity during Pregnancy and Postpartum"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Women's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Dirk Aerenhouts
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research group MOVE, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Interests: body composition assessment; physical fitness; energy balance related behavior

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pregnancy and its related physiological changes, such as (excessive) gestational weight gain and postpartum weight retention, seem to be a risk factor for developing overweight and obesity. During late pregnancy, but also during the following postpartum period, women experience several barriers to sufficiently engaging in physical activities and making healthy food choices, as lifestyle circumstances change due to raising a newborn.

This increases the risk of developing non-communicable diseases for the mother, while the offspring is also exposed to a higher risk of developing overweight and obesity and associated metabolic conditions later in life.

This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health welcomes original research papers, systematic reviews and meta-analyses dealing with different types of physical activity, sedentary behavior, nutrition, and body composition during the perinatal and following postpartum period. Studies focusing on environmental and psycho-social barriers and enablers for healthy behavior are also more than welcome. A clear emphasis will be placed on practical guidelines for medical staff and professional stakeholders for improving their recommendations and guidance of women and their families during the perinatal and postpartum period.

Dr. Dirk Aerenhouts
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • musculoskeletal complaints
  • body composition
  • bone density
  • strength
  • aerobic capacity
  • sedentary behavior
  • physical activity
  • exercise

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Relationships between Objectively Measured Sedentary Behavior during Pregnancy and Infant Birthweight
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10000; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910000 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Background: Although numerous studies have assessed physical activity during pregnancy and relationships with infant outcomes, such as birthweight, few have evaluated sedentary behavior. Our objective was to evaluate sedentary behavior across pregnancy and relationships with infant birthweight in a sociodemographically diverse sample. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Although numerous studies have assessed physical activity during pregnancy and relationships with infant outcomes, such as birthweight, few have evaluated sedentary behavior. Our objective was to evaluate sedentary behavior across pregnancy and relationships with infant birthweight in a sociodemographically diverse sample. Methods: We measured device-assessed sedentary behavior and physical activity over three days at 16–18, 24–26, and 32–34 weeks gestation and infant birthweight from medical records among 71 participants. We used linear regression to assess relationships between sedentary behavior at each evaluation period with birthweight-for-gestational age Z-scores (BW-for-GA). Results: There were no linear relationships between sedentary behavior and BW-for-GA at any evaluation period. We observed a modest curvilinear relationship between sedentary behavior at 16–18 weeks and BW-for-GA (R2 = 0.073, p = 0.021). Low and high levels of sedentary behavior predicted lower BW-for-GA. Multivariate models suggested that this relationship was independent of physical activity levels. Conclusions: Considering the high levels of sedentary behavior during pregnancy observed in many studies, even modest associations with birthweight merit further consideration. Relationships might not be evident later in pregnancy or if only linear relationships are considered. More detailed studies could help guide recommendations on sedentary behavior during pregnancy and the development of more comprehensive interventions. Full article
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Article
Phase Angle and Bio-Impedance Values during the First Year after Delivery in Women with Previous Excessive Gestational Weight Gain: Innovative Data from the Belgian INTER-ACT Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7482; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147482 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Phase angle (PhA) is a body composition parameter that measures changes in the amount and quality of soft tissue. Few studies have explored PhA in pregnancy or postpartum. The aim of this study was to explore the PhA during the first year postpartum [...] Read more.
Phase angle (PhA) is a body composition parameter that measures changes in the amount and quality of soft tissue. Few studies have explored PhA in pregnancy or postpartum. The aim of this study was to explore the PhA during the first year postpartum in a Belgian cohort using data from the control group of the INTER-ACT study, an intervention trial targeting those with excess gestational weight gain. A secondary aim was to examine associations between PhA and potential explanatory variables. Women aged ≥18 with excessive weight gain in a singleton pregnancy and without a chronic disease were eligible. Data collection included anthropometry as well as demographic and lifestyle questionnaires at 6 weeks, 6 months and 12 months postpartum. Body composition, including PhA, was measured with the Tanita MC780SMA device. Data was analysed using correlation and mixed model analyses. A total of 509 participants (median age 31.2) were included. The median PhA at 6 weeks postpartum was 5.8°. Higher PhA values were seen in multiparous women (p = 0.02) but there was no association with any other lifestyle or demographic factors. PhA values were positively associated with muscle mass and BMI (r = 0.13, p = 0.004 and r = 0.18, p < 0.001) at 6 weeks postpartum. PhA increased slightly in the 12 months postpartum, which was related to a decrease in fat percentage (p = 0.004). Further research in the pregnant/postpartum population is needed to elucidate any links with perinatal or future health outcomes. Full article
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Article
Evolution of Postpartum Weight and Body Composition after Excessive Gestational Weight Gain: The Role of Lifestyle Behaviors—Data from the INTER-ACT Control Group
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6344; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18126344 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 900
Abstract
Women with excessive gestational weight gain are at increased risk of postpartum weight retention and potentially also unfavorable body composition. Insight into the lifestyle behaviors that play a role in the evolution of postpartum weight and body composition among these women could aid [...] Read more.
Women with excessive gestational weight gain are at increased risk of postpartum weight retention and potentially also unfavorable body composition. Insight into the lifestyle behaviors that play a role in the evolution of postpartum weight and body composition among these women could aid identification of those at highest risk of long-term adverse outcomes. This secondary analysis of the INTER-ACT randomized controlled trial investigates control group data only (n = 524). The evolution of weight retention, percentage loss of gestational weight gain, fat percentage, waist circumference, and associated lifestyle behaviors between 6 weeks and 12 months postpartum were assessed using mixed model analyses. At six weeks postpartum, every sedentary hour was associated with 0.1% higher fat percentage (P = 0.01), and a higher emotional eating score was associated with 0.2% higher fat percentage (P < 0.001) and 0.3 cm higher waist circumference (P < 0.001). Increase in emotional eating score between 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum was associated with a 0.4 kg (P = 0.003) increase in postpartum weight retention from six months onwards. Among women with overweight, an increase in the uncontrolled eating score between 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum was associated with a 0.3 kg higher postpartum weight retention (P = 0.04), and 0.3% higher fat percentage (P = 0.006) from six months onwards. In conclusion, sedentary and eating behaviors play important roles in postpartum weight and body composition of women with excessive gestational weight gain and should therefore be incorporated as focal points in lifestyle interventions for this population. Full article
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Article
Misreporting of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Parents-to-Be: A Validation Study across Sex
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4654; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094654 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
This study validated the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the Context-specific Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire (CSBQ) against accelerometry among parents-to-be. Sex-differences in potential misreporting of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) were also investigated. Self-reported total PA (TPA), light-intensity PA (LPA), moderate-intensity [...] Read more.
This study validated the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the Context-specific Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire (CSBQ) against accelerometry among parents-to-be. Sex-differences in potential misreporting of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) were also investigated. Self-reported total PA (TPA), light-intensity PA (LPA), moderate-intensity PA (MPA), vigorous-intensity PA (VPA), moderate-to-vigorous-intensity PA (MVPA), and SB of 91 parents-to-be (41 men and 50 women) were compared with Actigraph data according to sex. Furthermore, the extent of misreporting was compared between sexes. Strong correlations for TPA and weak-to-moderate correlations for LPA, MPA, VPA, MVPA, and SB were observed. Participants underestimated TPA by 1068 min/week (=17.8 h/week; −50%), LPA by 1593 min/week (=26.6 h/week; −83%), and SB by 428 min/week (=7.1 h/week; −11%) and overestimated MPA by 384 min/week (=6.4 h/week; +176%) and MVPA by 525 min/week (=8.8 h/week; +224%). Males overreported VPA more than females in absolute minutes per week (238 min/week, i.e., 4.0 h/week vs. 62 min/week, i.e., 1.0 h/week), whereas, in relative terms, the opposite (+850% vs. +1033%) was true. The IPAQ and CSBQ can be used with caution to estimate TPA and SB among parents-to-be considering a strong correlation but low agreement for TPA and a weak-to-moderate correlation but acceptable agreement for SB. We disadvise using these self-reports to estimate PA on the distinct intensity levels. Full article
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