May 16, 2014
The LINK between Pregnancy Weight Gain and Childhood Obesity
I read an article in the newspaper the other day that I found to be very interesting. A new study has found that children whose mothers gain either too much - or too little weight during their pregnancy are more likely to be overweight or obese. I had never considered the possibility that a mother's pregnancy weight gain could have a direct effect on her child's propensity to be overweight over the course of his life. A study conducted at Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research and published, recently in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology affirms previous research showing that a pregnant woman who becomes significantly overweight, increases the long-term obesity risk of her offspring. Fetuses that are flooded with excess calories, increase their fat cell concentration and size, making them destined to obesity. As for why being underweight during pregnancy would result in a newborn's long-term propensity to become overweight, a possible explanation would be that those infants are naturally slowing down their metabolism. They are holding on to everything that they get and that becomes a life-long tendency in them. Studies found that among women whose BMI ( body mass index) is in the normal range before pregnancy, those who gained LESS than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy were 63 % more likely to have an overweight child; the risk was 80% higher among those women who gained MORE weight than recommended.
- It is important for women to understand that the way they nourish themselves during their pregnancy is obviously the way they are nourishing their fetuses.
- It is important for pregnant women to monitor their weight gain with their doctors, because it will affect the course of their child's life.