Excessive weight gain during pregnancy tied to childhood obesity

Oct. 1, 2013, Medical Xpress

A study of 41,133 mothers and their children in Arkansas has shown that high pregnancy weight gain increases the risk of obesity in those children through age 12. The findings, published Oct. 1 in PLOS Medicine, suggest pregnancy may be an especially important time to prevent obesity in the next generation.

“From the public health perspective, excessive weight gain during pregnancy may have a potentially significant influence on propagation of the obesity epidemic,” says the study’s senior author David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., and director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Programs to limit pregnancy weight gain could help prevent some cases of childhood obesity. “Pregnancy presents an attractive target for obesity prevention programs, because women tend to be particularly motivated to change behavior during this time,” says Ludwig. Continue reading

Mom’s obesity tied to higher risk of preemies

June 11, 2013, Reuters

By Genevra Pittman

Pregnant women who are overweight or obese are more likely to give birth prematurely, according to a new study from Sweden.

Researchers found that link was strongest for babies born the earliest – between 22 and 27 weeks – and therefore most at risk of complications.

“This study suggests that there is a direct association between maternal overweight and obesity during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth,” said Dr. Muktar Aliyu, who has studied pregnancy risks at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. Continue reading