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Women’s Barriers to Weight Loss, Perception of Future Diabetes Risk and Opinions of Diet Strategies Following Gestational Diabetes: An Online Survey

Gray, Kristy L.; McKellar, Lois; O�Reilly, Sharleen L.; Clifton, Peter M.; Keogh, Jennifer B.


Kristy L. Gray

Sharleen L. O�Reilly

Peter M. Clifton

Jennifer B. Keogh


Weight loss after gestational diabetes (GDM) reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM); however, weight loss remains challenging in this population. In order to explore perceptions of T2DM risk, barriers to weight loss, and views of diet strategies in women with previous GDM, a cross-sectional online survey of n = 429 women in Australia aged ≥18 years with previous GDM was conducted. Opinions of intermittent energy restriction (IER) were of interest. Seventy-five percent of responders (n = 322) had overweight or obesity, and 34% (n = 144) believed they had a high risk of developing T2DM. Within the Theoretical Domains Framework, barriers to weight loss were prominently related to Environmental Context and Resources, Beliefs about Capabilities, and Behavioural Regulation. Exercising was the most tried method of weight loss over other diet strategies (71%, n = 234) and weight loss support by a dietician was appealing as individual appointments (65%, n = 242) or an online program (54%, n = 200). Most women (73%, n = 284) had heard of IER (the “5:2 diet”), but only 12% (n = 34) had tried it. Open comments (n = 100) revealed mixed views of IER. Women in Australia with previous GDM were found to lack a self-perceived high risk of developing T2DM and expressed barriers to weight loss related to their family environment, beliefs about their capabilities and behavioural regulation. IER is appealing for some women with previous GDM; however, views vary.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 4, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 8, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 14, 2022
Journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 24
Article Number 9180
Keywords diabetes risk; gestational diabetes; weight loss barriers; diet strategies; intermittent energy restriction; theoretical domains framework
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