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Body image mediates the depressive effects of weight gain in new mothers, particularly for women already obese: evidence from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.
BMC Public Health 2016; 16:664BP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Multiple studies show that obesity and depression tend to cluster in women. An "appearance concern" pathway has been proposed as one basic explanation of why higher weights might lead to depression. The transition to motherhood is a life phase in which women's body image, weight, and depressive risk are in flux, with average weight increasing overall during this period. Examination of how these factors interact from pre- to post-pregnancy provides a means to test how body image plays a key role, as proposed, in causally shaping women's depressive risk.

METHODS

Tracking 39,915 pregnant women in the Norwegian Mother and Child (MoBA) Cohort Study forward 36 months after their deliveries, we test the moderating and mediating effects of body image concerns on the emergence of new mothers' depressive symptoms by using a binary logistic regression model with a discrete-time event history approach and mediation analysis with bootstrapping.

RESULTS

For women with high pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), weight gain heightens their depressive symptoms over time. Body image concerns mediate the association between weight gain and the development of depressive symptoms regardless of weight status. However, the mediation effect is more evident for women with higher pre-pregnancy BMI. Conversely, better body image is highly protective against the transition to mild or more severe depressive symptoms among new mothers, but only for women who were not classified as obese prior to their pregnancies.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings support a role for body image concerns in the etiology of depressive symptoms during the transition to motherhood. The findings suggest body image interventions before or during pregnancy could help reduce risks of depression in the early postpartum period and well beyond.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Mayo Clinic/Arizona State University Obesity Solutions initiative, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287-2402, USA. shan32@asu.edu.School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287, USA.School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27473373

Citation

Han, Seung-Yong, et al. "Body Image Mediates the Depressive Effects of Weight Gain in New Mothers, Particularly for Women Already Obese: Evidence From the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study." BMC Public Health, vol. 16, 2016, p. 664.
Han SY, Brewis AA, Wutich A. Body image mediates the depressive effects of weight gain in new mothers, particularly for women already obese: evidence from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. BMC Public Health. 2016;16:664.
Han, S. Y., Brewis, A. A., & Wutich, A. (2016). Body image mediates the depressive effects of weight gain in new mothers, particularly for women already obese: evidence from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. BMC Public Health, 16, p. 664. doi:10.1186/s12889-016-3363-8.
Han SY, Brewis AA, Wutich A. Body Image Mediates the Depressive Effects of Weight Gain in New Mothers, Particularly for Women Already Obese: Evidence From the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. BMC Public Health. 2016 07 29;16:664. PubMed PMID: 27473373.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Body image mediates the depressive effects of weight gain in new mothers, particularly for women already obese: evidence from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. AU - Han,Seung-Yong, AU - Brewis,Alexandra A, AU - Wutich,Amber, Y1 - 2016/07/29/ PY - 2016/03/10/received PY - 2016/07/23/accepted PY - 2016/7/31/entrez PY - 2016/7/31/pubmed PY - 2017/8/17/medline KW - Body image KW - Depression KW - MoBa KW - Motherhood KW - Obesity KW - Postpartum KW - Pregnancy KW - The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study KW - Weight gain SP - 664 EP - 664 JF - BMC public health JO - BMC Public Health VL - 16 N2 - BACKGROUND: Multiple studies show that obesity and depression tend to cluster in women. An "appearance concern" pathway has been proposed as one basic explanation of why higher weights might lead to depression. The transition to motherhood is a life phase in which women's body image, weight, and depressive risk are in flux, with average weight increasing overall during this period. Examination of how these factors interact from pre- to post-pregnancy provides a means to test how body image plays a key role, as proposed, in causally shaping women's depressive risk. METHODS: Tracking 39,915 pregnant women in the Norwegian Mother and Child (MoBA) Cohort Study forward 36 months after their deliveries, we test the moderating and mediating effects of body image concerns on the emergence of new mothers' depressive symptoms by using a binary logistic regression model with a discrete-time event history approach and mediation analysis with bootstrapping. RESULTS: For women with high pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), weight gain heightens their depressive symptoms over time. Body image concerns mediate the association between weight gain and the development of depressive symptoms regardless of weight status. However, the mediation effect is more evident for women with higher pre-pregnancy BMI. Conversely, better body image is highly protective against the transition to mild or more severe depressive symptoms among new mothers, but only for women who were not classified as obese prior to their pregnancies. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support a role for body image concerns in the etiology of depressive symptoms during the transition to motherhood. The findings suggest body image interventions before or during pregnancy could help reduce risks of depression in the early postpartum period and well beyond. SN - 1471-2458 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27473373/Body_image_mediates_the_depressive_effects_of_weight_gain_in_new_mothers_particularly_for_women_already_obese:_evidence_from_the_Norwegian_Mother_and_Child_Cohort_Study_ L2 - https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-016-3363-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -