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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Apr;198(4):416.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2007.10.796. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

Impact of maternal body mass index on neonate birthweight and body composition.

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  • 1Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.



The purpose of this study was to compare bodyweight and composition (percent fat, fat mass, and fat-free mass) in neonates born to mothers with a normal pregravid body mass index (BMI; < 25 kg/m(2)) vs neonates born to mothers with an overweight/obese pregravid BMI (> or = 25 kg/m(2)).


Seventy-two neonates (33 from normal mothers and 39 from overweight/obese mothers) of singleton pregnancies with normal glucose tolerance had their bodyweight and body composition assessed by air-displacement plethysmography.


After controlling for neonate age at time of testing, significant differences were found between groups for percent fat (12.5 +/- 4.2% vs 13.6 +/- 4.3%; P < or = .0001), fat mass (414.1 +/- 264.2 vs 448.3 +/- 262.2 g; P < or = .05), and fat-free mass (3310.5 +/- 344.6 vs 3162.2 +/- 343.4 g; P < or = .05), with no significant differences between birth length (50.7 +/- 2.6 vs 49.6 +/- 2.6 cm; P = .08) or birthweight (3433.0 +/- 396.3 vs 3368.0 +/- 399.6 g; P = .44).


Neonates born to mothers who have a normal BMI have significantly less total and relative fat and more fat-free mass than neonates born to overweight/obese mothers. Although preliminary, these data suggest that the antecedents of future disease risk (eg, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity) occur early in life.

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