Child Obesity Linked to Pre-pregnancy Weight Gain
A recent study, published in the Lancet, claims obesity starts in the womb. Though it is already known that heavier moms tend to have heavier babies, it was never established if shared genes are responsible for this or not.
by: baby strollers
The study, that followed moms with more than one baby, revealed that, everything else remaining same, women who gain more than 52 pounds during pregnancy is twice more likely to have a baby weighing 9 pounds or more than women who gain between 18 and 22 pounds. Given that the birth weight is related to adult weight, scientists and public health officials are concerned that too much weight gain during pregnancy may be contributing to the rising incidents of obesity.
A related study conducted among 9-year old children discovered that, children with mothers, who gained more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy, are heavier, more prone to obesity and more likely to have risk factors like high blood pressure and lower good cholesterol. Though the current recommendation for pregnancy weight gain, which allows
- between 28 and 40 pounds for moms with low BMIs; 25 to 35 pounds for normal BMI;
- 15 to 25 pounds for overweight; and
- 11 to 20 pounds for moms considered obese;
is more relaxed than the recommendation followed a few decades ago of 15 to 20 pounds weight gain for all mothers, still 60 percent of pregnant women tend to gain more than the recommended amount of weight.
So, even doctors are advising against too much weight gain during pregnancy. While the biological principle is not clear, a baby’s metabolism is influenced and programmed, not only by mom’s diet, but by pre-pregnancy weight gain as well. A post by fellow blogger Paula Bernstein, babies who don’t sleep enough are more likely to be obese too, is an excellent example of how public health researchers are trying to find weight influencing factors in earlier and earlier phase of human life and now we have to consider trends that start even before birth.
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