FUNDING SOURCE: National Institutes of Health (NICHD) (2014-2022)



Nearly three-quarters of African American women and half of non-Hispanic White women of childbearing ages in the US are overweight or obese. About one-half (46%) of pregnant women exceed gestational weight gain recommendations. This problem is significant because excessive gestational weight gain is a strong risk factor for new or persistent obesity in women and increases a woman’s risk for maternal complications. Furthermore, accumulating observational studies show that higher maternal gestational weight gain is associated with higher offspring birth weight, which persists in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Novel intervention approaches have the potential to help overweight/obese financially disadvantaged women achieve healthy weight control during and after pregnancy and improve the health of their offspring. We will build on our promising R21 feasibility study to address the following specific aims: (1) examine the impact of a lifestyle intervention on gestational weight gain and postpartum weight loss in overweight and obese women, (2) examine the impact of the intervention on physical activity (PA), dietary intake, and quality of life (QOL), (3) examine race differences in total gestational weight gain, PA, dietary intake, and QOL; and (4) examine the impact of the intervention on offspring adiposity. Pregnant women (N=500) women, half African American and half White, will be recruited from obstetric clinics in the greater Columbia, South Carolina area and randomized to a lifestyle intervention (n=250) or standard care (n=250). The lifestyle intervention, grounded in Social Cognitive Theory, will target regular body weight self-monitoring and increasing PA and healthy dietary practices in pregnancy and postpartum. The lifestyle program will start within 15 wks gestation and will continue through 6 mos postpartum. All women will be assessed early in pregnancy (≤13 wks), at 32 wks gestation, and at 6- and 12-mos postpartum, and offspring will be assessed at 6- and 12-mos.


Liu, J., Wilcox, S., Wingard, E., Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Hutto, B., Burgis, J.A. (2021). A behavioral lifestyle intervention to limit gestational weight gain in pregnant women with overweight and obesity. Obesity, 29(4), 672-680. Epub ahead of print February 22, 2021.
DOI: 10.1002/oby.23119

Lane-Cordova, A.D., Wilcox, S., Fernhall, B., Liu, J. (2021). Agreement between blood pressure from research study visits versus electronic medical records and associations with hypertensive disorder diagnoses in pregnant women with overweight/obesity. Blood Pressure Monitoring Research, 26(5), 314-347. Epub ahead of print May 7, 2021.
DOI: 10.1097/MBP.0000000000000542

Boutté, A.K., Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Wilcox, S., Liu, J., Eberth, J.M., Kaczynski, A.T. (2021). Stress and depressive symptoms are not associated with overall diet quality, but are associated with aspects of diet quality in pregnant women in South Carolina. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 121(9), 1785-1792.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2021.02.025

Boutté, A. K., Turner-McGrievy, G. M., Wilcox, S., Liu, J., Eberth, J. M., Kaczynski, A. T. (2021). Associations of maternal stress and/or depressive symptoms with diet quality during pregnancy: A narrative review. Nutrition Reviews, 79(5), 495-517. Epub ahead of print June 29, 2020.
DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuaa019

Boutté, A.K., Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Eberth, J.M., Wilcox, S., Liu, J., Kaczynski, A.T. (2021). Healthy food density is not associated with diet quality among pregnant women with overweight/obesity in South Carolina. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 53(2), 120-129.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2020.11.014

Liu, J., Wilcox, S., Wingard, E., Burgis, J.T., *Schneider, L., *Dahl, A. (2020). Strategies and challenges in recruiting pregnant women with elevated body mass index for a behavioral lifestyle intervention. Women’s Health Reports,1(1), 556-565.
DOI: 10.1089/whr.2020.0089

Wilcox, S., Liu, J., Addy, C.L., Turner-McGrievy, G., Burgis, J.T., Wingard, E., Dahl, A.A., Whitaker, K.M., Schneider, L., Boutté, A.K.  (2018). A randomized controlled trial to prevent excessive gestational weight gain and promote postpartum weight loss in overweight and obese women: Health In Pregnancy and Postpartum (HIPP). Contemporary Clinical Trials, 66, 51-63.  PMID: 29371061