Excessive Weight Gain in Pregnancy Can Impact Kids By Age 2

Mothers with excessive weight before and during pregnancy might be increasing the odds that their children become overweight at the age of two, reports a new study published in Pediatric Obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adolescents and children are overweight or obese. Researchers of the study believe that identifying more public health treatments to limit maternal obesity before it happens could decrease complications that arise from it, which includes metabolic conditions like diabetes.

"Childhood obesity is linked with adult obesity and long-term negative health outcomes, which is why it is important to explore which factors may contribute to excessive weight during early childhood," said Anny H. Xiang, PhD, lead author of the study.

Odds of overweight children

During the study, researchers discovered that overweight women with a BMI of 30 or higher before pregnancy upped the chances of their offspring being overweight at 24 months by more than twofold, compared with women possessing healthy pre-pregnancy weight. Additionally, extra weight gain during pregnancy increased the odds of a child being obese at 2 years of age by 23 percent. Kids were considered overweight at age 2 if their BMI exceeded the 85th percentile.

Additionally, researchers claim that mothers who breastfed their children for at least 6 months had kids 24 percent less likely to be overweight at 2 years of age. These stats held true despite a mother’s pre-pregnancy weight, gestational diabetes or weight gain during pregnancy.

"Our study findings highlight the need for more public health efforts to reduce maternal obesity, appropriate gestational weight gain and to promote breastfeeding," concluded Xiang.

Source: Kaiser Permanente

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