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Does a woman's weight gain during pregnancy affect children's bone health?

November 07, 2018

A new study has examined whether managing weight during pregnancy might affect children's bone mass.

In the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study, investigators analyzed prospective data from 2,167 mother-child pairs from Portugal. In under/normal weight mothers, weight gain during pregnancy was associated with slightly increased bone mass at 7 years of age in children, while in overweight/obese mothers, no beneficial effect of weight gain on bone mass was observed.

Given the well-known adverse implications of excessive weight gain during pregnancy for both the mother and child on various aspects of health, following the current recommendations on pregnancy weight gain should not have consequences on children's skeletal health.

"Until recently, it was a widely held scientific belief that any weight gain from the mother during pregnancy would have a beneficial effect on children's bone mass. Our study results corroborate that there is no benefit in gaining weight above the US Institute of

Medicine recommendations for pregnancy weight gain for children's bone mass, in both normal and overweight women prior to pregnancy," said lead author Dr. Teresa Monjardino, of the Universidade do Porto, in Portugal.
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Wiley

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