Association of Antenatal Diet and Physical Activity-Based Interventions with Gestational Weight Gain and Pregnancy Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Helena J. Teede, Cate Bailey, Lisa J. Moran, Mahnaz Bahri Khomami, Joanne Enticott, Sanjeeva Ranasinha, Ewelina Rogozińska, Helen Skouteris, Jacqueline A. Boyle, Shakila Thangaratinam, Cheryce L. Harrison

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Importance: Excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) is common and associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Antenatal lifestyle interventions limit GWG; yet benefits of different intervention types and specific maternal and neonatal outcomes are unclear. Objective: To evaluate the association of different types of diet and physical activity-based antenatal lifestyle interventions with GWG and maternal and neonatal outcomes. Data Sources: A 2-stage systematic literature search of MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Health Technology Assessment Database was conducted from February 1, 2017, to May 31, 2020. Search results from the present study were integrated with those from a previous systematic review from 1990 to February 2017. Study Selection: Randomized trials reporting GWG and maternal and neonatal outcomes. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Data were extracted for random-effects meta-analyses to calculate the summary effect estimates and 95% CIs. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes were clinically prioritized, with mean GWG as the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, cesarean section, preterm delivery, large or small for gestational age neonates, neonatal intensive care unit admission, or fetal death. Results: A total of 117 randomized clinical trials of antenatal lifestyle interventions (involving 34546 women) were included. Overall lifestyle intervention was associated with reduced GWG (-1.15 kg; 95% CI, -1.40 to -0.91), risk of gestational diabetes (odds ratio [OR], 0.79; 95% CI, 0.70-0.89), and total adverse maternal outcomes (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.84-0.94) vs routine care. Compared with routine care, diet was associated with less GWG (-2.63 kg; 95% CI, -3.87 to -1.40) than physical activity (-1.04 kg; 95% CI, -1.33 to -0.74) or mixed interventions (eg, unstructured lifestyle support, written information with weight monitoring, or behavioral support alone) (-0.74 kg; 95% CI, -1.06 to -0.43). Diet was associated with reduced risk of gestational diabetes (OR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.45-0.82), preterm delivery (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.22-0.84), large for gestational age neonate (OR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.08-0.47), neonatal intensive care admission (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.48-0.95), and total adverse maternal (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61-0.92) and neonatal outcomes (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.26-0.72). Physical activity was associated with reduced GWG and reduced risk of gestational diabetes (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.47-0.75), hypertensive disorders (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.48-0.90), cesarean section (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.75-0.95), and total adverse maternal outcomes (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.71-0.86). Diet with physical activity was associated with reduced GWG (-1.35 kg; 95% CI, -1.95 to -0.75) and reduced risk of gestational diabetes (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.54-0.96) and total adverse maternal outcomes (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69-0.95). Mixed interventions were associated with reduced GWG only. Conclusions and Relevance: This systematic review and meta-analysis found level 1 evidence that antenatal structured diet and physical activity-based lifestyle interventions were associated with reduced GWG and lower risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. The findings support the implementation of such interventions in routine antenatal care and policy around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-114
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

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