Pregnancy high weight gain responsible for child obesity


Obesity is on rise all over the world. Various factors like junk foods, sedentary lifestyle, unbalanced diet etc have been blamed, time to time, for causing obesity. A new study further reveals that excessive weight gain during pregnancy can put children at risk of becoming heavy later in life. It is apparent that women gain weight during pregnancy, but some women gain excessive weight, which according to a study published in Lancet can be risky for women as well as for baby. In the U.S., more than a third of women of normal weight and more than half of overweight and obese women gain more weight than their doctors recommend.

About the Study
Researchers at Children’s Hospital in Boston and Columbia University in New York examined the birth records of more than 500,000 women who had two or more pregnancies, a total of more than 1 million babies. Researchers chose women having more than one child to separate out the effects of genetics. The results showed that:

  • The more weight the women gained, the higher the risk of having a high-birth-weight baby
  • Woman who gained roughly double the weight during one pregnancy compared with another, her baby was on average half a pound, or 200 grams, heavier than its sibling.
  • Women who gain more than 52 pounds are 2.3 times as likely to have a high-birth-weight baby as women who gained 18 to 22 pounds

The study was published online Thursday in the medical journal Lancet and was paid for by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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IOM guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent, nonprofit organization –

  • normal-weight gain in women should be around 25 to 35 pounds (11 to 16 kilograms) during pregnancy
  • overweight and obese women should gain 11 to 25 pounds (5 to 11 kilograms).
  • A newborn who weighed more than 81/2 pounds at birth is considered at a high birth weight.

There are well-known health problems linked to excessive pregnancy weight gain, such as complications at birth and an increased risk of later diabetes, heart problems and obesity. The new study is an eye opener that brings the fact as to how child obesity be caused by overweight during pregnancy. As they say prevention is better than cure.  Pregnant women should seek advice of their doctor and pay attention to balance their diet and control the weight to avoid needless complications. Having some substantial evidence from the current study, researchers are further looking to establish the link between gestational weight gain and childhood obesity for better clarity.

Source: wallstreetjournal


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