Each additional pregnancy with excessive weight gain during the gestation period is associated with a higher subsequent weight gain among middle-aged women, a new study says. According to the study, published in Journal of Women's Health, there is a cumulative effect of excessive Gestational Weight Gain (GWG) over multiple pregnancies.
The researchers, including those from the University of Pittsburgh in the US, analysed the effect of the number of excessive GWG pregnancies at midlife on body mass index (BMI) -- a measure calculated by dividing the weight of a person by the square of their height in metres.
According to the scientists, each additional pregnancy with excessive GWG was associated with a higher BMI among women of ages 42-53.
Overall, they said, nearly 40 per cent of women reported a GWG which was higher than the recommended levels in at least one pregnancy.
The study noted that almost half of the women with excessive GWG in at least one pregnancy had an obese BMI at midlife, compared to a fifth of those who had never experienced excessive GWG.
"Each pregnancy with excessive GWG was associated with a 64 per cent increase in the likelihood of obesity at midlife, regardless of race or ethnicity, number of pregnancies, and physical activity level. This finding makes a strong argument for avoiding excessive gestational weight gain in any pregnancy," said Susan G. Kornstein, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health.
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