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Women Who Gain Excessive Weight During Pregnancy More Likely to Have Overweight Children
Date:6/8/2008

PHILADELPHIA, June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children of mothers who gain more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy are more likely to be overweight at age seven, say researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in a study published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Children of mothers who are obese prior to pregnancy and gain excessive weight are at the greatest risk for overweight.

"The earliest determinants of obesity may operate during intrauterine life, and gestational weight gain may influence the environment in the womb in ways that can have long-term consequences on the risk of obesity in children," said study leader Brian Wrotniak, P.T., Ph.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. "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."

The researchers reviewed data from a cohort of 10,226 participants enrolled between 1959 and 1965 in the multicenter National Collaborative Perinatal Project. It was initiated to investigate risk factors for cerebral palsy at 12 U.S. sites. This study looked at the children born at full-term gestation, and researchers evaluated socioeconomic and growth data during gestation, at birth and at age 7. Maternal data were collected at enrollment by using a questionnaire that included maternal pre-pregnancy weight, age and race. Maternal weight and height were measured at the time of delivery to determine gestational weight gain - the difference between the measured weight at delivery and the reported pre-pregnancy weight.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which makes recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy, the amount of weight women should gain during pregnancy depends on the mother's weight status before pre
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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