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The primary purpose of this observational cohort study is to examine the role of "food reward" in maternal diet and weight change during pregnancy and postpartum. The study will further examine the importance of food reward in the context of behavioral control and other related aspects of eating behavior, as well as weight-related biomedical, psychosocial and behavioral factors including genetics, physical activity, stress, sleep and depression. Four hundred and fifty women of varying baseline weight status will be enrolled early in pregnancy (before 12 weeks postpartum) and followed until 1 year postpartum. Assessments will occur at baseline (<12 weeks postpartum), during pregnancy at 13-18 weeks gestation, 16-22 weeks, and 28-32 weeks, and postpartum at 4-6 weeks, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. Measures will include assessments of food reward and related constructs, dietary intake, other health behaviors, and anthropometrics. Clinical data and biological specimens will be obtained. Infant anthropometrics and feeding practices will also be assessed. Primary exposures include aspects of food reward and behavioral control, which will be assessed in multiple ways to maximize information and utility. Primary outcomes include gestational weight gain, postpartum weight retention and dietary quality.
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Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years to 44 Years (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
PEAS is a prospective observational study of N=450 women without evidence of psychiatric or eating disorders, recruited in early pregnancy (≤12 weeks), targeting N=150 in each weight status group: normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9), overweight (BMI 25-29.9) and obese (BMI >=30). Women will be followed through pregnancy and until 1 year postpartum, along with their infants from birth to 1 year, with collection of blood, stool, and urine specimens, previous and current medical information, dietary intake and eating behaviors, anthropometrics, and demographic information.
Female confirmed pregnant <12 weeks at screening
Uncomplicated singleton pregnancy anticipated
Age >=18 and <45 at screening
Willingness to undergo study procedures and provide informed consent for her participation and assent for the baby's participation
BMI >=18.5 (to qualify as normal: 18.5-24.9; overweight 25-29.9; or obese : >=30)
Able to complete self-reported assessments in English
Access to Internet with email to complete self-reported assessments
Plan to deliver at UNC Hospital
Plan to remain in the area for 1 year following delivery
Pre-existing diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
Participant-reported eating disorder
Any fetal anomaly requiring surgery with hospital admission following delivery (e.g. NTDs, gastroschisis, cardiac defects, Trisomy 21)
Any medical condition contraindicating participation in the study such as chronic illnesses or use of medication that could affect diet or weight e.g. cancer, HIV, active renal disease, MI in the last 6 months, chronic steroid use, thyroid disease requiring medication, or autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, scleroderma)
Psychosocial condition contraindicating participation in the study such as bipolar, schizophrenia, major affective disorder, substance abuse.