Expecting? You can expect to be overweight long after pregnancy if you put on too many pounds during those nine crucial months, according to medical researchers from Australia’s University of Queensland.
Some weight gain is necessary for a healthy pregnancy and baby, but this new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows a strong correlation between gaining too much weight during pregnancy and gaining even more weight in the future.
The researchers analyzed the body mass index (BMI) of over 2,000 women who gave birth in the early 1980s. While women who gained too much, too little and an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy had all gained weight over the decades that followed, those who gained more weight than the Institute of Medicine recommendation were found to be twice as likely to become overweight and a troubling four times more likely to reach an obese BMI.
More research is required to determine exactly why there’s such a strong connection between pregnancy weight and future weight, but the study authors determined it had nothing to do with exercising during pregnancy or duration of breastfeeding. Further investigation could help pinpoint ways to control pregnancy weight without harming the fetus with a restrictive diet.
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