With obesity on the rise in the general population, it has also become more prevalent among people of reproductive age. Weight loss has shown benefits in overweight women and men experiencing fertility problems. However, the existing weight loss interventions for individuals with infertility are associated with high drop-out rates and limited success. In this article, we argue for the development of weight loss programmes targeting couples, as couples are routinely seen in fertility clinics, rather than individuals. Couples may have correlated weights, and similar eating and activity patterns. Involving both partners may facilitate mutual support, behaviour change, weight loss, and programme continuation, at very little additional cost. A successful couple-based intervention could improve the chances of achieving pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby, with a reduction in pregnancy complications. In the longer run, both partners and their baby could benefit from maintained behaviour change with better health across the lifespan. We conclude that there is a need for research to systematically develop a couple-based weight loss intervention with state-of-the-art design that is tailored to both partners’ needs.
- body mass index
- weight loss
- couple-based intervention
Best, D., Avenell, A., Bhattacharya, S., & Stadler, G. (2017). New debate: is it time for infertility weight loss programmes to be couple-based? Human Reproduction, 32(12), 2359-2365. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dex313