Losing weight after having a baby
Effectiveness of behavioural lifestyle interventions for weight loss in postnatal women
Women randomised to a lifestyle intervention had significantly lower body weight than comparators.
We searched research databases and other relevant online resources for systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials that had examined the effectiveness of behavioural lifestyle interventions for weight loss in postnatal women. A mega meta‐analysis was then conducted of trials across all the included systematic reviews.
Nine systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials were eligible for inclusion in the review and 22 unique trials from across the nine systematic reviews were eligible for inclusion in the mega meta‐analysis. Women randomised to a lifestyle intervention had significantly lower body weight at last follow‐up than comparators (mean difference of −1.7 kg (95% CI, −2.3 to −1.1 kg)).
This research should be interpreted with some caution as many of the RCTs included in the included systematic reviews recruited small samples, many of whom were white and middle-class. Furthermore, many of the tested interventions were intensive lifestyle-based programmes, were tailored to each individual woman and frequently delivered by skilled health professionals such as psychologists and dieticians. Resource intensive interventions cannot be delivered to all 820,000 women who give birth each year in the UK, 520,500 of whom will be overweight. This review has highlighted the need for more high quality RCTs that examines the effectiveness of weight management interventions that have the potential to be offered to all postnatal women. There is also a need for data regarding the cost-effectiveness of weight management interventions for postnatal women.
Ferguson JA, Daley AJ, Paretti HM. Behavioural weight management interventions for postnatal women: A sysematic review of sytematic reviews of randomized controlled trials. Obesity Reviews 2018;20;829-841. DOI: 10.1111/obr.12834
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)