Coexistence of overweight and anaemia during pregnancy

Project summary

Mexico is experiencing an increasing burden of nutrition-related chronic diseases. This is also the case for pregnant women, who face both obesity problems and anaemia; some have a combination of the two challenges, i.e. a double burden of disease. The combination of obesity and anaemia in pregnancy is a health problem for the pregnant women, and may also affect the off-spring negatively. Long-term consequences could result in cognitive challenges in early childhood. Combating both health challenges during pregnancy is likely to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality. As the vast majority of pregnant women in Mexico attend antenatal care, there is potential to prevent obesity and anaemia during pregnancy through lifestyle advice (diet and physical activity) and administration of iron tablets. This study therefore aims to develop and pilot a hospital-based intervention and to ensure the optimal study design and methods for subsequent evaluation in a randomized control trial. Both pregnant women and health staff in Mexico will be part of the study. More specifically, the aim of the study is to analyse and describe pregnant women with co-existing obesity and anaemia with focus on 1) demographic, socio-economic, and clinical characteristics 2) lifestyle behaviours and iron supplementation 3) birth complications and general health of newborn babies. Moreover, in a social-cultural context, the study aims to analyse and describe pregnant women’s decision about pregnancy, lifestyle factors, treatment and care access, and health beliefs. The ambition is to increase focus on nutrition, physical activity, behaviours, barries in pregnant women, among health staff and in the public. Furthermore, a long-term ambition is to develop new guidelines for pregnant women with combined obesity and anaemia.

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