Predictors of gestational weight gain in a low-income hispanic population: Sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, and psychosocial stressors

Cara D. Dolin, Rachel S. Gross, Andrea L. Deierlein, Lauren T. Berube, Michelle Katzow, Yasaman Yaghoubian, Sara G. Brubaker, Mary Jo Messito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hispanic women have a higher prevalence of weight associated complications in pregnancy. This ethnic disparity is likely related to behavior patterns, social circumstances, environmental exposures, and access to healthcare, rather than biologic differences. The objective was to determine associations between sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, and psychosocial stressors and gestational weight gain (GWG) in low-income Hispanic women. During pregnancy, information on sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, and psychosocial stressors were collected. Linear regression estimated mean differences in GWG by selected predictors. Multinomial logistic regression estimated odds of inadequate and excessive GWG by selected predictors. Five-hundred and eight women were included, 38% had inadequate and 28% had excessive GWG; 57% with a normal pre-pregnancy BMI had inadequate GWG. Compared to women with normal BMI, women with overweight or obesity were more likely to have excessive GWG (aRRR = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.04, 3.40 and aRRR = 1.98, 95% CI: 1.08, 3.62, respectively). Mean total GWG was higher among women who were nulliparous (ß = 1.34 kg, 95% CI: 0.38, 2.29) and those who engaged in ≥3 h of screen time daily (ß = 0.98 kg, 95% CI: 0.02, 1.94), and lower among women who were physically active during pregnancy (ß = −1.00 kg, 95% CI: −1.99, −0.03). Eating breakfast daily was associated with lower risk of inadequate GWG (aRRR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.26, 0.83). Depressive symptoms and poor adherence to dietary recommendations were prevalent, but none of the psychosocial or dietary variables were associated with GWG. In this cohort of primarily immigrant, low-income, Hispanic women, there were high rates of poor adherence to diet and physical activity recommendations, and a majority of women did not meet GWG guidelines. Modifiable health behaviors were associated with GWG, and their promotion should be included in prenatal care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number352
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020



  • Diet
  • Gestational weight gain
  • Hispanic
  • Physical activity
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychosocial stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this