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Am Fam Physician. 2022;105(2):online

Related Putting Prevention Into Practice: Behavioral Counseling Interventions for Healthy Weight and Weight Gain in Pregnancy

As published by the USPSTF.

What does the USPSTF recommend?For pregnant adolescents and adults:
Offer effective behavioral counseling interventions aimed at promoting healthy weight gain and preventing excess gestational weight gain in pregnancy. Grade B
To whom does the recommendation apply?Pregnant adolescents and adults
What's new?This is a new recommendation.
How to implement this recommendation?
  1. Identify patients (adolescents and adults) who are pregnant

  2. Offer effective behavioral counseling or refer patients to behavioral counseling in other settings.

Effective behavioral counseling interventions varied in the following:
  • Individual focus on nutrition, physical activity, or lifestyle and behavioral change

  • Multiple components, most commonly including active/supervised exercise or counseling about diet and physical activity

When to start/stop: Generally started at the end of the first trimester or the beginning of the second trimester and ended prior to delivery
Duration and intensity: Varied from 15 to 120 minutes and consisted of < 2 contacts to ≥ 12 contacts
Who delivered the intervention: Highly diverse and included clinicians, registered dietitians, qualified fitness specialists, physiotherapists, and health coaches across different settings (e.g., local community fitness center)
How the intervention was delivered: Delivery methods included individual or group counseling that was delivered in person, by computer/internet, or by telephone calls
What are other relevant USPSTF recommendations?The USPSTF has made recommendations on screening for obesity in adults, screening for gestational diabetes mellitus, and behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults with and without cardiovascular risk factors. These recommendations are available at
Where to read the full recommendation statement?Visit the USPSTF website or the JAMA website ( to read the full recommendation statement. This includes more details on the rationale of the recommendation, including benefits and harms; supporting evidence; and recommendations of others.

This series is coordinated by Joanna Drowos, DO, contributing editor.

A collection of USPSTF recommendation statements published in AFP is available at

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