Zach Ferraro, a Ph.D. candidate with HALO, has recently published a new paper, “An assessment of patient information channels and knowledge of physical activity and nutrition during pregnancy.” The full citation to the article is below:

Zach Ferraro, Jane Rutherford, Erin J Keely, Lise Dubois, and Kristi B Adamo (2011). An assessment of patient information channels and knowledge of physical activity and nutrition during pregnancy, Obstet Med, 4(2), 59-65.

Background: Excessive weight gain during pregnancy increases the risk for obesity in mother and child. Healthy eating and physical activity may help prevent excessive gestational weight gain and minimize offspring risk of developing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Our goal was to determine the information channels used by pregnant women to obtain information on nutrition and exercise. Methods: We collected information about their knowledge of physical activity and nutrition during pregnancy and assessed their satisfaction with this information to identify factors that may be improved upon when designing a behavioural intervention. An anonymous, voluntary questionnaire was completed by 147 pregnant women to identify the proportion who are currently receiving information about exercise from their care provider. Results: The primarily Caucasian sample (age: 30.9 ± 4.2, weeks gestation: 21.4 ± 9.4) completed the survey. A total of 86% are willing to participate in a lifestyle intervention trial. Personal health and the health of their child were cited as top reasons for participation. Most women were not informed as to the importance of appropriate pregnancy-specific energy intake or made aware of their own personal healthy gestational weight gain targets. A total of 63% report receiving some form of information on physical activity during pregnancy. Of those who do not, almost all (93%) would like to receive this information from a care provider. Overall, 88% of women consider it safe to exercise when pregnant. Discussion: Given their responses, nutrition and exercise information offered through a lifestyle intervention during pregnancy may increase healthy behaviours and warrants clinical investigation.