Healthy Eating: Too Much or Too Little Weight Gain During Pregnancy May Cause Offspring to be Overweight

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Researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, say that children of mothers who gain more than the recommended weight during pregnancy are more likely to become overweight by age seven.

“Adherence to pregnancy weight gain recommendations may be a new and
effective way to prevent childhood obesity, since currently almost half
of U.S. women exceed these recommendations.”said study leader Brian Wrotniak, P.T., Ph.D., of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.

In a study published June 9 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, pregnant women gain weight depending on their weight statues prior to pregnancy. By medical standards, women with a healthy weight before pregnancy should gain between 25 to 35 pound during pregnancy, while women who are overweight should gain between 15 to 25 pounds, and women who are underweight need to gain between 38 to 40 pounds in order to have a safe pregnancy term.

Don’t Gain Too Much or Too Little During Pregnancy

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while pregnant reduces the risk of women having overweight children by age seven. Mothers who gain insufficient or exceed the weight recommended to gain while pregnant put their child at risk of being overweight compared to mothers who gain a sufficient amount of weight during pregnancy.

The researchers are continuing studies on this matter to figure out whether the association between greater gestational weight gain and increased odds of overweight in offspring is causal, and whether it still occurs in today’s environment of increasing obesity.


2 responses to “Healthy Eating: Too Much or Too Little Weight Gain During Pregnancy May Cause Offspring to be Overweight”

  1. Wow…I’d heard the first study, but I didn’t know that gaining too little weight had the same effect. Interesting.

  2. Marsha says:

    Hi, Laura,

    Just looked at this post and had a quick comment. The question is how much is too much weight? I think the guidelines are based on averages, and we’re not all average. Some of us gain more weight healthfully during pregnancy than the guidelines. So I encourage people not to get caught up in the numbers but just focus on keeping those healthy habits. And do the best you can. Worry about weight gain isn’t healthy for the mother or the baby.

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