Body satisfaction during pregnancy is an important determinant of maternal and fetal health outcomes. It is therefore critical to investigate factors related to changes in body satisfaction and to elucidate how body satisfaction changes over time in pregnant women. I examined the relation between two novel factors (i.e., healthy eating and physical activity habit strength) and body satisfaction in 67 pregnant North American women from the beginning of their second trimester (T1) until the end of pregnancy. Strength of healthy eating and physical activity habits remained stable over time, body satisfaction decreased over time, and healthy eating habit strength at T1 predicted increases in body satisfaction from the second trimester to the end of pregnancy, even when controlling for gestational weight gain. Results highlight how increasing health-related habit strength in women of reproductive age may offer protection against low levels of body satisfaction during pregnancy.
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Thesis advisor: Zaitsoff, Shannon
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