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A THEORY-BASED, DIETARY INTERVENTION FOCUSED ON INCREASING VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION IN POSTPARTUM MOTHERS AND INFANTS

by GAHL, JESSICA KOHLS

Abstract (Summary)
Background: Overweight (BMI greater than 25) and obesity (BMI greater than 30) have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, positioning obesity at the forefront of the nation's health agenda as a critical public health threat. The pregnancy and post-partum periods in women have been identified as stages which may contribute to future obesity. The diets of most Americans are high in calories, fat, and sugar, and low in nutrient dense, low-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Diets high in vegetables and fruits are linked to reduced risk for chronic disease. Fruit and vegetables are nutrient-dense and low in calories and have recently been associated with reduced risk of major weight gain and obesity development. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a dietary intervention on increasing vegetable consumption in breast-feeding (BF) and formula feeding (FF) postpartum mothers to aid in attaining a healthy weight. There was no control group in this intervention study as this study was involved in the preparatory stage for a larger study. It was expected that after completion of the program, both groups of mothers would consume more vegetables attributable in part to an increase in vegetable preference and self-efficacy in purchasing, preparing and consuming vegetables. Methods: Postpartum mothers (N=47) were recruited for a dietary intervention with focus on increasing vegetable intake to aid in attaining a healthy weight. The intervention consisted of a pre-evaluation session, nutrition education program, and a post-evaluation session. Results: BF mothers significantly increased their self-efficacy in vegetable selection, preparation and consumption (p=0.01) and FF mothers demonstrated a trend towards increasing self-efficacy (p=0.06). Both groups significantly increased intake of Total Target Vegetables (BF, p= 0.03; FF, p =0.01), Other Vegetables (BF, p= 0.05; FF, p=0.05) and All Vegetables (BF, p=0.01; FF, p=0.01), increasing a total of 1.8 servings for BF and 2.2 servings for FF beyond baseline for all vegetables. Conclusion: A theory-based dietary intervention is effective in increasing vegetable consumption in postpartum women.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:postpartum vegetable consumption weight management retention

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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