Too Much Pregnancy Weight Leads To Obese Babies and Children

A recent study conducted by researchers led by Jami Josefson, MD, pediatric endocrinologist at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital and assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been able to connect some of the dots on child obesity.

The study, which is going to be released at The Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston, suggests that when women carry too much weight during their pregnancy give birth to babies that are overweight. This trend of being overweight will also carry on through their life.

This study does shed some light on what is contributing to the growing number of obese children in the country. However, this study only looked at one factor of the obese factor. It did not take into account the gestational diabetes as a factor. Only women who did not have diabetes while pregnant were factored into the study as gestational diabetes is already a known cause of childhood obesity.

The study focused around two different groups of women. In one study group, 31 women stayed within the recommended weight restrictions for pregnancy. In the other group, 25 women exceeded these limits and gained more than the recommended weight. Some of these women were already obese according to their weight and height. Each of the women who gained too much weight during their pregnancy gave birth to babies that were overweight as newborns.

Another realization to this study is that the pre-birth weight of the mother did not contribute to the obesity factors in the children. However, it was also shown that those who were obese before their pregnancy did exceed the recommended weight gain. Out of those who were already obese, 70% of them exceeded the weight gain restrictions of 11 to 15 pounds. It is suggested that a woman within normal weight limits should gain 20 to 25 pounds during her pregnancy.

This study sheds enormous light into what needs to be done in order to prevent some of the factors that lead to obesity. Dr. Josefson, as a result of the research, says, “Be at as healthy of a weight as you can before becoming pregnant and gain weight within the guidelines.” By doing so pregnant mothers are able to lose the weight they put on much faster and also provide for a healthier birth and childhood for their newborn.

While the study was well done and the research very thorough some scientists are thinking of other questions as to why the overweight women gained extra weight. It is suggested by some that there may have been some undiagnosed insulin resistance. The reason for this thinking is that the study did show some of the women had higher levels of glucose in their system, but did not have diabetes.

Regardless, the outcome of the study is a clear statement. Women who are pregnant must keep in mind the weight gain recommendations in order to have a healthy pregnancy, as well as significantly lowering the risk of having a fat baby.

Claire Al-Aufi

Claire Al-Aufi is a contributing author for Hive Health Media who provides updates on health and fitness news.

4 thoughts on “Too Much Pregnancy Weight Leads To Obese Babies and Children

  • September 12, 2011 at 4:04 am

    I am pregnant in the 7 month, i have gained 40 pounds :O

    im really really sad about this and my body is ruined :´( i really hope this pregnancy will go fast so i can get my figure back :)

  • June 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Well based on anas body type, if she ever got pregnant her thighs and ass are going to get HUGE

  • June 10, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I had twins and…talk about weight gain! I gained more weight with those two than I thought possible for my body to carry (all those Big Macs). Alas, the twins are the only of my children with any weight issues. What you are saying may be true.

  • June 9, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Very interesting!

    I remember when I was pregnant, I gained the right amount of weight and after having my daughter, the weight came off very fast.

    Right now my daughter is almost 5 years old and she’s not overweight. I hope it stays that way. :)

    Thanks for sharing!


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