Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Weight Gain In Pregnancy Linked To Overweight In Kids

Expectant moms pay a lot of attention to how much weight they gain. Most often the concern is that inadequate weight gain will increase the chances of the baby being underweight at birth.

It now seems that women who gain excessive, or even adequate, weight during pregnancy are up to four times more likely to have children who are obese at age 3. The data are in a study published in the April edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The study looked at 1044 infant-mother pairs, which is decent study size. Obesity is defined as have a BMI greater than 95th percentile, which is also reasonable.

That being said, I still have trouble with this kind of study. While it is possible that the guidlines for weight gain are too permissive, it is hard to weed out other factors. Overweight families have overweight kids. The study does not seem to talk about wether or not the moms were overweight to begin with. My personal experience is that a family may have a tendency to be overweight, but family eating habits contribute heavily.

I worry that too much emphasis on the pathology of obesity as a disease takes away the element of personal responsibility in maintaining our own health. The current focus on obesity seems to be leading us toward pharmaceutical solutions that are often wholly inappropriate.

Weight Gain In Pregnancy Linked To Overweight In Kids (ScienceDaily)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll throw one more wrench in the whole scale. (so to speak).

You hear so much talk about exercise, but in the 50's the initial times of things like fast food and TV dinners made people far more sedentary than they are today (which is why that started the Presidential Fitness Program). But obesity was not a real factor.

What else changed? Our food supply. Then they did not have food created from GMOs (or Genetically Modified Organisms), no hormones in the milk, no steroids in our beef. It is entirely possible that the very food that we rely on is at the very cause in itself because what we have done to in the name of corporate profits.