BOSTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) — The amount of weight a pregnant woman gains — not only her child’s genetics — may play a role in a child’s weight and disease risk, U.S. researchers say.
Researchers at Children’s Hospital in Boston and Columbia University in New York compared infants born to women who gained from 17.5 to 22 pounds during pregnancy and infants born to mothers who gained more than 52.5 pounds during pregnancy, WebMD reported.
The researchers used state birth registry data from Michigan and New Jersey involving 513,501 women who had more than one child — no twins or triplets — and their 1,164,750 children born from January 1989 to December 2003.
The study, published in The Lancet, finds the babies born to the mothers who gained more than 50 pounds were about 5.3 ounces heavier at birth — and that for every 2.2 pounds the mother gains, the baby’s birth weight increased by one-quarter ounce.
“Because high birth weight predicts body mass index later in life, these findings suggest that excessive weight gain during pregnancy could raise the long-term risk of obesity-related disease in offspring,” the study authors say in a statement.
“High birth weight might also increase risk of other diseases later in life, including asthma, atopy (allergies) and cancer.”
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