Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Mottola, Michelle F.


Maternal obesity and excessive gestational weight gain (EGWG) are associated with adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. To evaluate the effectiveness of different behaviour change intervention strategies, it was hypothesized that the introduction of a single behaviour change, followed by a second, would be more effective at preventing early and total EGWG in pregnant women compared to the early simultaneous introduction of both behaviour changes. Eighteen pregnant women were block randomized into one of 3 Nutrition and Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program (NELIP) strategies (full NELIP, Nutrition followed by Exercise N+E, Exercise followed by Nutrition E+N) and were followed at weekly face-to-face meetings with an investigator for the duration of their pregnancy. The women were assessed for weight gain at 24-25 and 36-38 weeks gestation. Following delivery, birth outcome assessment was performed within 6-18 hours. The rates of EGWG were 70% for full NELIP, 89% for N+E and 50% for E+N. The full NELIP and E+N groups had increased physical activity as pregnancy progressed. No difference in dietary habits was observed between groups at each time point during pregnancy. The E+N group had the highest adherence to both the nutrition and exercise components of the NELIP, which may suggest that the E+N strategy is most effective at preventing EGWG in women who are normal weight, overweight and obese.