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Pregnant moms who overeat could make obese babies

By MARIA CHENG, AP Medical Writer – Wed Aug 4, 7:01 pm ET

LONDON – Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy have big
babies, putting their children at risk of becoming heavy later on, a
new study says.

American researchers followed all births in Michigan and New Jersey
between 1989 and 2003. They then focused on women who had more than
one child, to exclude the possibility that women who were genetically
predisposed to be obese were simply passing those genes onto their

Among the more than 513,000 women and their 1.1 million infants
studied, scientists found that women who gained more than 53 pounds
(24 kilograms) during their pregnancy made babies who were about 150
grams (0.3 pounds) heavier at birth than infants of women who gained
only 22 pounds (10 kilograms).

The study was published online Thursday in the medical journal Lancet
and was paid for by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
"It's never too early to start preventing obesity," said Stephan
Rossner, a professor in the obesity unit at Karolinska Hospital in
Sweden who was not connected to the study. "It may be uncomfortable
for mothers to eat less and change their lifestyle, but after nine
months they will get a great payoff for their children."

In the U.S., more than a third of women of normal weight and more than
half of overweight and obese women gain more weight than their doctors

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