BACKGROUND: Unhealthy nutrition contributes to the worldwide rising prevalence of noncommunicable diseases. As most adverse reproductive outcomes originate during the periconception period, effective interventions targeting this period are needed. Therefore, we developed the lifestyle intervention Smarter Pregnancy to empower women to adapt a healthy diet prior to conception and during early pregnancy and performed a randomized controlled trial. OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this trial were to investigate compliance and effectiveness in women using the Smarter Pregnancy program. METHODS: Women aged between 18 and 45 years who were contemplating pregnancy or <13 weeks pregnant and their male partners living in the urban area of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, were eligible for participation. After baseline screening, the intervention group received personal online coaching based on identified inadequate intakes of vegetables, fruits, and folic acid supplements. The sum of these risk factors was used as a dietary risk score (DRS), ranging from 0 (healthy) to 9 (unhealthy). The control group did not receive coaching. We applied an intention-to-treat principle and used a multivariable linear regression model to evaluate the change in DRS after 24 weeks. Compliance was defined as the percentage of women who completed the screening questionnaire at 24 weeks. RESULTS: Of women recruited, 81.2% (177/218) completed the program (intervention: 91/218, 83.5%; control: 86/218, 78.9%; P=.95). After 24 weeks, the reduction in DRS of women in the intervention group was significantly larger than in the control group (β=.75, 95% CI 0.18-1.34). This reduction was mainly due to increased vegetable intake (β=.55, 95% CI 0.25-0.86). CONCLUSIONS: The high compliance and the larger improvements in nutritional behaviors, especially vegetable intake, in women in the intervention group emphasizes the effectiveness of empowering women by using the lifestyle change intervention Smarter Pregnancy. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Register: NL3927; INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.1186/s12884-017-1228-5.

mHealth, nutrition, preconception care, pregnancy,
Journal of Medical Internet Research
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

van Dijk, M.R, Koster, M.P.H, Oostingh, E.C, Willemsen, S.P, Steegers, E.A.P, & Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. (2020). A Mobile App Lifestyle Intervention to Improve Healthy Nutrition in Women Before and During Early Pregnancy. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(5). doi:10.2196/15773