MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elizabeth M. Widen, PhD, RD
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute of Human Nutrition & Department of Epidemiology
Mailman School of Public Health
New York, NY 10032
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Widen: The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health Mothers and Newborns Study was started in 1998 and is based in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx. Pregnant African American and Dominican mothers were enrolled from 1998 to 2006, and mothers and their children have been followed since this time. Pregnancy weight gain and childhood size and body fat was measured, allowing us to examine the role of nutrition in pregnancy on long-term childhood health. We found that high pregnancy weight gain, above the Institute of Medicine 2009 guidelines, was associated with higher body fat and a 300% increased risk of childhood obesity at age seven. Prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) was also positively associated with childhood body fat and obesity. These findings suggest that prepregnancy BMI and pregnancy weight gain have long-term implications for weight-related health in children.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Widen: We encourage pregnant women and women planning pregnancy to talk to their health care provider about the recommended guidelines for pregnancy weight gain and strategies to gain within the guidelines. We encourage clinicians to talk to their patients about the recommended guidelines and how gaining too much weight in pregnancy can have long-term implications for childhood body weight and health.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Widen:: We found that high pregnancy weight gain was associated with childhood obesity and higher body fat. Given that women with the same amount of total weight gain may have a different pattern of weight gain across pregnancy, future studies should examine the role of the pattern of weight gain in childhood health. Future research is also needed to determine how to support women to gain within the guidelines, which is important for maternal and child health.
Gestational weight gain and obesity, adiposity and body size in African–American and Dominican children in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan. Elizabeth M. Widen, Robin M. Whyatt, Lori A. Hoepner, Noel T. Mueller, Judyth Ramirez-Carvey, Sharon E. Oberfield, Abeer Hassoun, Frederica P. Perera, Dympna Gallagher and Andrew G. Rundle. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2015, published ahead of print March 5, 2015, doi: 10.1111/mcn.12174.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth M. Widen, PhD, RD (2015). Pre-pregnancy BMI And Gestational Weight Gain Linked To Childhood Obesity