It’s often said that pregnant women are “eating for two.” And while that is true, its significance is a little more than you may realize. According to a new study, pregnant women who overeat put their future child at risk of being obese.
The researchers followed pregnant women in Michigan and New Jersey from 1989 to 2003. In order to exclude genetic predisposition for obesity as a cause, the researchers also focused on women who had more than one child. What they found was that women who gain too much weight during pregnancy risk their child being heavy later in life.
Over half a million mothers were studied, along with more than a million babies. What the researchers found was that the women who gained more than 53 pounds had babies that were slightly heavier at birth (0.3 pounds) than infants of women who gained only 22 pounds or less.
“It’s never too early to start preventing obesity,” said Stephan Rossner, a professor in the obesity unit at Karolinska Hospital in Sweden. “It may be uncomfortable for mothers to eat less and change their lifestyle, but after nine months they will get a great payoff for their children.”
More than a third of American women who are normal weight and over half of overweight and obese women gain more weight during pregnancy than their doctors recommend. According to the Institute of Medicine, a healthy weight gain for expecting mothers is between 25 and 35 pounds.
Don’t make any rash dietary decisions or overcompensate based on these findings. Just be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations.
(via: Yahoo! Health)