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Maternal Loss of Control Over Eating

Am J Clin Nutr; ePub 2018 Jun 5; Micali, et al

Pregnancy loss of control (LOC) eating is common and has an adverse short- and long-term impact on both mother and offspring, a recent study found. Researchers sought to determine whether pregnancy LOC is associated with dietary, gestational weight gain, and offspring birth-weight outcomes in a large population-based prospective study of pregnant women and their children. The association with offspring weight at age 15.5 years was also explored. 11,132 women from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) were included LOC in pregnancy and diet at 32 weeks of gestation were assessed by self-report. Among the findings:

  • LOC in pregnancy was common (36.3%).
  • Women with pregnancy LOC reported higher total energy intake, consumed more snacks, and had lower vitamin B-6, A, and C intake compared with women without LOC.
  • Women with frequent LOC had lower vitamin B-1 and folate intake and gained on average 3.74 kg more than women without LOC.
  • Frequent and occasional LOC were associated with higher birth weight.
  • Offspring of mothers with frequent pregnancy LOC had 2-fold increased odds of being overweight/obese at 15.5 years of age.


Micali N, Essimii AE, Field AE, Treasure J. Pregnancy loss of control over eating: A longitudinal study of maternal and child outcomes. [Published online ahead of print June 5, 2018]. Am J Clin Nutr. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy040.

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