Minority and low-income women have higher rates of postpartum weight retention, contributing to increased rates of obesity in these populations. Weight perceptions may be an important factor contributing to the adoption of weight-management behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between weight perceptions and weight-related behaviors among overweight low-income women during postpartum enrolled in a weight loss intervention study.
This is a cross-sectional analysis of the Fresh Start study baseline data among overweight and obese low-income women during postpartum (N = 132). General linear regression models assessed the association between weight perceptions and energy intake, energy expenditure, self-monitoring, and self-regulation.
Women who perceived themselves to be very overweight had significantly lower self-regulation (β = -4.0, SE = 1.6, p = 0.014) and higher energy expenditure (β = 1.3, SE = 0.7, p = 0.05) compared to women who perceived themselves to be moderately overweight or a little overweight. There were no significant associations between weight perceptions and self-monitoring or energy intake.
This study found that weight perceptions among these women are important factors to consider for weight loss. Future research should focus on investigating the impact of tailoring interventions to weight perceptions to impact engagement in weight-related behaviors in diverse low-income women during postpartum.