Pregnant Women’s Perception and Knowledge of the Impact of Obesity on Prenatal Outcomes—A Cross-Sectional Study

Howaida Khair, Mo’ath F. Bataineh, Kornelia Zaręba, Shamsa Alawar, Sara Maki, Gehan Sayed Sallam, Afra Abdalla, Sharon Mutare, Habiba I. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prevalence of obesity and overweight has been rapidly increasing and is significantly higher among adult females in the Arab States. The aim of the present study was to explore pregnant Emirati women’s perception of their weight, their knowledge of the healthy gestational weight gain, and the possible weight-related pregnancy complications. A total of 526 self-administered questionnaires were obtained with a response rate of 72%. The majority (81.8%, n = 429) entered pregnancy as overweight or obese. The percentage of pregnant women who underestimated their weight category was 12.1% in normal weight participants, 48.9% in overweight participants, and 73.5% in obese participants (p < 0.001). The overweight and obese participants were 13 times more likely to underestimate their weight status and 3.6 times more likely to correctly select their healthy gestational weight gain. Women’s awareness of pregnancy-related complications due to weight varied from 80.3% for diabetes to 44.5% for fetal complications; their awareness of breastfeeding difficulty was the lowest at 2.5%. Moreover, there was a misconception about personal BMI and the appropriate range for gestational weight gain (GWG). Healthy lifestyle counselling urgently needs to be addressed in preventative health programs such as pre-marital and preconception counselling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2420
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • BMI
  • GWG
  • body mass index
  • gestational weight gain
  • obesity
  • perception
  • pregnancy
  • pregnancy complications
  • pregnancy knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Pregnant Women’s Perception and Knowledge of the Impact of Obesity on Prenatal Outcomes—A Cross-Sectional Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this