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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;87(6):1818-24.

Gestational weight gain and risk of overweight in the offspring at age 7 y in a multicenter, multiethnic cohort study.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399, USA.



The earliest determinants of obesity may operate during intrauterine life, and gestational weight gain may influence the intrauterine environment in a way that may affect the risk of overweight in the offspring.


The purpose of this study was to examine the association of gestational weight gain with offspring overweight.


This was a retrospective cohort study of 10,226 participants from the Collaborative Perinatal Project (1959-1972). Anthropometric and sociodemographic variables were assessed during gestation, at birth, and at age 7 y. The association between gestational weight gain and offspring overweight at 7 y was examined after adjustment for important confounding factors.


The odds of overweight in offspring at age 7 y increased by 3% for every 1 kg of gestational weight gain (adjusted odds ratio: 1.03; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.05). When gestational weight gain was examined using Institute of Medicine guidelines, the odds of overweight was 48% greater for children of mothers who gained more than the weight gain recommendations than for children of mothers who met the weight gain guidelines (adjusted OR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.06, 2.06). The association remained significant after additional adjustment for birth weight. The association between gestational weight gain and overweight in the offspring was strongest for women who were underweight before pregnancy (P for interaction < 0.01).


Helping pregnant women to meet the recommended weight gain during pregnancy may be an important and novel strategy for preventing pediatric obesity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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