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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

JORDAO, Ivyna Spinola Caetano  and  KAC, Gilberto. Determinants of postpartum weight retention according to skin color among women in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.18, n.6, pp. 403-411. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892005001000003.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors associated with postpartum weight retention according to skin color in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as part of the effort to help control overweight and obesity. METHODS: We carried out a cohort study with data collection at four points after delivery: 15 days, 2 months, 6 months, and 9 months. The 450 participants (15 to 45 years of age) were recruited from a maternity center and a city health center in Rio de Janeiro. Postpartum weight retention was defined as the dependent variable. The following covariates were investigated: maternal age, marital status, ability to read a letter, smoking, monthly family income, number of children, age at first delivery, a score for physical activity at work, and a score for physical activity during leisure time. The data were analyzed using multivariate linear mixed-effects models for longitudinal data. RESULTS: The factors that remained associated with postpartum weight retention for white women were time after delivery (b = -0.0061, P = 0.0002), marital status (married/single b = -0.9279, P = 0.0457), and age at first delivery (b = -0.1553, P = 0.0364). The factors for brown women were time after delivery (b = -0.0062, P < 0.0001), marital status (married/single b = -0.6000, P = 0.0145), and work physical activity score (b = -0.1068, P = 0.0003). The factors for black women were smoking (b = -1.4635, P = 0.0535) and score for physical activity during leisure time (b = -0.2422, P = 0.0145). CONCLUSIONS: The factors associated with postpartum weight retention were different for the three skin-color categories. Nevertheless, the data do not indicate the need for different interventions for the three skin-color groups. That is particularly true because the physical activity scores were among the variables associated with weight retention, and any initiative to control obesity should take physical activity into consideration. On the other hand, given the socioeconomic differences among the three skin-color categories, new studies should be developed to investigate in more detail the pattern of postpartum weight retention according to skin color.

Keywords : Body weight; weight gain; obesity; pregnancy; skin pigmentation; motor activity; Brazil.

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