Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mom's weight gain during pregnancy tied to childhood obesity

Date:
October 1, 2013
Source:
Boston Children's Hospital
Summary:
Women who gain excessive weight in pregnancy are more likely to have overweight and obese children.

A study of 41,133 mothers and their children in Arkansas has shown that high pregnancy weight gain increases the risk of obesity in those children through age 12. The findings, published Oct. 1 in PLoS Medicine, suggest pregnancy may be an especially important time to prevent obesity in the next generation.

"From the public health perspective, excessive weight gain during pregnancy may have a potentially significant influence on propagation of the obesity epidemic," says the study's senior author David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital.

Programs to limit pregnancy weight gain could help prevent some cases of childhood obesity. "Pregnancy presents an attractive target for obesity prevention programs, because women tend to be particularly motivated to change behavior during this time," says Ludwig.

Researchers have previously observed a familial tendency toward obesity. Children with mothers who are obese, or gain too much weight during pregnancy, are more likely to be obese themselves. However, this relationship may be due to confounding factors such as shared genes, common environmental influences and socioeconomic and demographic considerations, rather than any direct biological effects of maternal overnutrition.

Ludwig, together with coauthors Janet Currie, PhD, director of the Center for Health and Well Being, Princeton University and Heather Rouse, PhD, of Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI), used a novel study design to examine other causes of childhood obesity. They linked the birth records of mothers with two or more children to school records that included the child's body mass index (BMI) at an average age of 11.9 years, and then made statistical comparisons between siblings.

Comparing siblings minimizes the conventional sources of confounding, because on average siblings have the same relative distribution of obesity genes, the same home environment and same socioeconomic and demographic influences.

The current study extends results of an earlier study that Ludwig led, which showed that excessive weight gain in pregnancy increased the birth weight of the infant. The effect of maternal weight gain apparently continues through childhood and accounts for half a BMI unit, or about 2 to 3 lbs., between children of women with the least to the most pregnancy weight gain.

"Excessive pregnancy weight gain may make a significant contribution to the obesity epidemic," says Ludwig. "Children born to women who gained excessive amounts of weight--40 lbs. or more-during pregnancy had an 8 percent increased risk of obesity," says Ludwig. This risk, though relatively small on an individual basis, could translate into several hundred thousand cases of excess childhood obesity worldwide each year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston Children's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ludwig DS, Rouse HL, Currie J. Pregnancy Weight Gain and Childhood Body Weight: A Within-Family Comparison.. PLoS Med, October 2013

Cite This Page:

Boston Children's Hospital. "Mom's weight gain during pregnancy tied to childhood obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001192015.htm>.
Boston Children's Hospital. (2013, October 1). Mom's weight gain during pregnancy tied to childhood obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001192015.htm
Boston Children's Hospital. "Mom's weight gain during pregnancy tied to childhood obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001192015.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins