Obesity in Early Childhood Linked to Weight Gain in Pregnancy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sneha Sridhar, MPH
Kaiser Permanente, Division of Research
2000 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Oakland, CA  94612

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Answer: We found that women whose weight gain during pregnancy exceeded the current Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations were 46% more likely to have an overweight or obese child at ages 2-5, compared to women who met the recommendations. The association was stronger among women who were of normal weight before pregnancy. These normal weight women were more likely to have an overweight or obese child if they gained either below or above the IOM recommendations.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer:  We were intrigued by the finding that weight gain during pregnancy impacted normal weight women more than overweight or obese women. This is the first study, to our knowledge, which has found that normal weight women who gained below the recommendations were more likely to have an overweight or obese child.  More research is needed to determine why this is the case.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: This study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that maternal weight gain during pregnancy has long term effects on offspring weight. Clinicians should work with patients to help them to achieve appropriate weight gain during pregnancy.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: We recommend developing lifestyle interventions that aim to help women achieve appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, and conducting clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of these interventions.


Maternal gestational weight gain and offspring risk for childhood overweight or obesity
Sneha B. Sridhar, Jeanne Darbinian, Samantha F. Ehrlich, Margot A. Markman, Erica P. Gunderson, Assiamira Ferrara, Monique M. Hedderson

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology – 14 April 2014 (10.1016/j.ajog.2014.02.030)

Last Updated on April 18, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD