Send to

Choose Destination
Matern Child Health J. 2008 Jan;12(1):112-8. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

The body mass index of teen mothers and their toddler children.

Author information

Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Benedict Building, A3-110, Worcester, MA, 01655, USA.



To evaluate: change in Body Mass Index (BMI) of adolescent mothers (14-19 years of age) from pre-pregnancy to 36 months postpartum; BMI of their children age 2 or older; relationship between maternal BMI and children's BMI.


Retrospective medical record abstraction of adolescent mothers attending a medical program in Massachusetts between 2001 and 2005 who had self-reported pre-pregnancy BMI data at first prenatal visit, at least one BMI measure 12 or more months postpartum, and who did not experience a repeat pregnancy (n = 52). Children of adolescent mothers were included if they had received their 2 (n = 41) and/or 3 (n = 28) year physical.


Adolescent mothers: overweight increased from 25% pre-pregnancy to 33% at 24-36 months postpartum; obesity more than doubled in the same time period, from 15% to 36%. Those with BMI data available pre-pregnancy and postpartum had an increase in mean BMI from 25 pre-pregnancy to 29 at 24-36 months postpartum (P < 0.001). Two-year-old children: About 5% were at risk for overweight and 12% were overweight. Three-year-old children: About 18% were at risk for overweight and 18% were overweight. When BMI categories of children were compared to BMI categories of their mothers, there was a trend for adolescent mothers with overweight/obesity at 24-36 months postpartum to have 3-year-old children at risk for overweight or overweight (P = 0.092).


There was a significant increase in overweight/obesity in this cohort of adolescent mothers and their children followed 36 months postpartum. The long-term sequelae of overweight/obesity indicates a need for effective interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center