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  • Young children twice as likely to be obese if mother was obese during pregnancy

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    Monday, July 05, 2004 1:56 pm Email this article
    Among low-income children, a mother's obesity in early pregnancy more than doubles the risk of obesity for the child at the age of 2- to 4-years-old according to a new study from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

    The prevalence of childhood obesity was 9.5 percent at 2 years of age, 12.5 percent at 3 years of age, and 14.8 percent at 4 years of age.

    Thirty percent of obese children had obese mothers.

    By the age of 4 years old, 24.1 percent of children were obese if their mothers had been obese in the first trimester of pregnancy compared with 9 percent of children whose mothers had been of normal weight (BMI of 18.5 to 25).

    The risk of obesity at the age of 2-years-old was 2 times greater among children who’s mothers were obese during the first trimester of their pregnancy, 2.3 times greater at the age of 3-years-old, and 2.3 times greater at the age of 4-years-old.

    Obesity among 2- to 4-year-olds was defined as a body mass index (BMI)  greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for their age and gender.


    Whitaker R. Predicting preschooler obesity at birth: the role of maternal obesity in early pregnancy. Pediatrics. 2004 Jul, 114(1):E29-36.


    Department of Pediatrics
    University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the
    Division of General and Community Pediatrics
    Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
    Cincinnati, Ohio

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