Pregnant women who binge-eat post 7 p.m and/or follow unhealthy diets are likely to put on weight after child birth, says a recent study published in the journal Nutrients (December). The study conducted by researchers at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), Singapore examined data from a large scale birth cohort study — Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes (GUSTO). It found that pregnant women indulging in nocturnal binge eating are more likely to experience post-partum weight retention of 5 kg or more, 18 months after giving birth.
“Our research, based on multi-ethnic Asian women, shows that although predominantly night eating and lower diet quality have been independently linked with weight gain, practising night eating with low diet quality demonstrated the greatest likelihood of substantial post-partum weight gain and retention even after 18 months of child birth,” says lead author Loy See Ling, research fellow at KKH.
According to the researchers, weight retention after child birth is more harmful than weight gain during other stages of life, as during this period the weight is typically deposited in the abdomen.