Obese Before Birth

Thursday, August 5, 2010 - 9:37am

New study finds mother's weight gain during pregnancy can impact a baby's weight later on.

Eating for two may mean you're gaining weight for two.

New research from Children's Hospital Boston finds women who gain a lot of weight during pregnancy tend to have heavier babies, directly impacting the infants' risk for obesity later in life.

Previous studies linking pregnancy weight and childhood obesity couldn't account for the genetic factors a mom and baby share.

This study looked at women who had multiple children with different risks for obesity based on how much weight their moms put on while pregnant.

Researchers say it's healthy for a baby to be born with some fat, but too much can indicate the fetus developed in an abnormal environment.

Obesity in adults is associated with multiple health problems including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and gastro-esphageal reflux disease.

"We know that if we can take an obese individual and get them back down to a normal weight, than we can get those health problems to go away," says UH Case Medical Center's Dr. Leena Khaitan.

The trick may be to stop the cycle before it ever begins in utero.

The Institute of Medicine recommends women with a normal weight gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.

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