Women who gain the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy are four times more likely to have a child who is overweight by age 3, a US study finds. Outcomes are similar for women who gain more weight than suggested by guidelines established by the US Institute of Medicine.
The guidelines call for women with a "normal" body mass index (BMI) to gain 25 to 35 pounds (11 to 16 kilograms) during pregnancy. Women with higher BMIs are advised to gain less, while those with lower BMIs are told to gain more, the Associated Press reported.
The study, which included 1 044 mothers and their 3-year-olds, compared the mothers' weight gains during pregnancy to their toddlers' BMIs. The children were defined as overweight if they had a BMI greater than 95 percent of children of the same age and sex.
About half the mothers in the study gained more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy, about one-third gained the recommended amount, and 14 percent gained less than the recommended amount, the AP reported.
It's not clear why greater weight gain during pregnancy may increase the risk that a child will be overweight, said study lead author Dr Emily Oken of Harvard Medical School. The study appears in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. – (HealthDayNews)