Overweight women have tougher time shedding those excess pounds, study finds
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Obese women who gain more than 15 pounds during pregnancy tend to retain much of it long after delivery, a new U.S. study finds.
Oregon researchers collected data on almost 1,700 obese women (their body mass index was 30 or higher) who gave birth between 2000 and 2005.
"We found that 70 percent of the women were exceeding the recommended weight gain for women in their weight category," said researcher Victor J. Stevens, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. What's more, "these women had a lot of difficulty losing that weight, and on average retained 40 percent of it [a year later]," he said.
"That's a concern as they are already heavy enough to have health problems related to their weight, and retaining significant weight gain after pregnancy just makes it worse," Stevens said.
For an obese woman, gaining too much weight during pregnancy also increases the risk of complications, such as diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, bigger babies, C-sections and birthing injuries.
The research was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and appears in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
In the study, Stevens' team noted the women's starting weight (between six months before conception and 12 weeks after conception), delivery weight and their later weight at eight and 18 months after giving birth.
The researchers defined excess weight gain as more than 15 pounds.
Women who gained 15 to 25 pounds were twice as likely to retain 10 pounds of that weight over the next year and a half, compared to women who had less weight gain. Those who packed on more than 35 pounds were almost eight-times more likely to retain 10 pounds of that extra bulk, the team found.
Younger women a
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