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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 May;15(5):1278-86.

Does excess pregnancy weight gain constitute a major risk for increasing long-term BMI?

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Obesity Unit, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, SE-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.



The objective was to assess the relevance of the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), regarding gestational weight gain (GWG) for long-term BMI development.


The Stockholm Pregnancy and Women's Nutrition is a follow-up study of 483 women who delivered children in 1984 to 1985. ANOVA was used to examine the change in body weight before pregnancy, at 6 months, and 1 year postpartum and 15 years after childbirth. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the predictors of BMI at 15-year follow-up.


The weight increase from baseline to 15-year follow-up was 6.2 kg for IOM-insufficient, 6.7 kg for IOM-recommended, and 10.0 kg for IOM-excessive weight gain (p < 0.01). ANOVA showed a main effect of time, group and group by time interaction. The weight of the women who had excessive GWG was significantly greater at each time-point of follow-up than the weight of those who gained within or below recommendations. GWG was related to BMI at 15-year follow-up even after accounting for several confounders. Women who gained excessive weight during pregnancy had an increase of 0.72 kg/m(2) in long-term BMI compared with women who gained within recommendations.


The findings support the adequateness of IOM guidelines, not only for the pregnancy-related health matters, but also for preventing long-term weight retention after delivery. Healthcare providers should give women appropriate advice for controlling GWG and motivate them to lose pregnancy-related weight during postpartum to prevent future overweight.

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