Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may boost child's obesity risk

June 24, 2008 2:32:44 PM PDT
Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy might raise their child's future risk of becoming overweight, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.The study found children whose mothers gained more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy were 48 percent more likely than other children to be overweight at age 7.

Researchers say there is evidence that excess pounds and high blood sugar levels in expectant moms may over-stimulate fetal pancreatic cells which produce the hormone insulin. Insulin promotes growth, and high levels can increase birthweight and later contribute to blood sugar control problems and obesity.