Development of a prenatal weight gain intervention program using social marketing methods

Judith E. Brown, Theresa M. Tharp, Carolyn McKay, Stacy L. Richardson, Nancy J. Hall, John R. Finnegan, Patricia L. Splett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Prenatal weight gain is a major factor associated with infant birth weight and health, and its optimization may reduce the incidence of low birth weight infants in women at risk. This paper describes the results of a social marketing plan for developing a prenatal weight gain intervention program intended to improve the birth weights of infants born to a group of low-income women in Minnesota. The rationale for the use of social marketing methods in the design of nutrition interventions and the results of the social marketing process undertaken are presented. Based on an analysis of the target audience, it was concluded that the weight-gain intervention program developed should: 1) utilize women who have had children to present diet and weight gain information; 2) include the pregnant women's mothers, boyfriends or spouses; 3) direct dietary and weight gain messages toward the goal of having a healthy baby; 4) address concerns about weight gain during pregnancy and weight loss later on; 5) acknowledge and address the emotional needs and feelings of pregnant women; 6) utilize concise, visually appealing, helpful, user-friendly, and entertaining materials; 7) enable women to decide upon the specific changes in food intake they will make; 8) provide attractive and practical options for achieving desired behavioral changes; and 9) address common myths related to diet, weight gain, and pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


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