ENDO: Pregnancy Weight Gain Linked to Baby's Body Fat

Pregnant women with excessive weight gain more likely to have babies with more body fat

TUESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women who gain more than the recommended weight during pregnancy tend to give birth to babies who have a higher amount of body fat, according to a study presented at ENDO 2011, the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, held from June 4 to 7 in Boston.

Jami Josefson, M.D., from the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and colleagues investigated whether newborns of women who gain more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy have a high amount of body fat. A new infant body composition system (Pea Pod), which employs an air-displacement technique, was used to measure the body fat of newborns. The length, weight, and fat of newborns were measured within 48 hours of birth. Of the 56 pregnant women without gestational diabetes included in the study, 31 stayed within the guidelines for pregnancy weight gain, and 25 exceeded the guidelines.

The investigators found that women who were obese before pregnancy were more likely to exceed the weight-gain guidelines than healthy-weight women. Independent of pre-pregnancy weight, women who gained more than the recommended weight gave birth to babies with significantly more body fat (17.5 versus 13.9 ounces) compared to women who stayed within the guidelines, even when the baby's birth weight was normal.

"Excessive weight gain during pregnancy, regardless of pre-pregnancy weight, is an important risk factor for newborn obesity," Josefson said in a statement.

Abstract No. OR38-3 (subscription or payment may be required)
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