(HealthDay News) — Maternal gestational weight gain (GWG) and post-delivery weight gain are independently associated with a child’s weight development, according to a study published online October 19 in Pediatrics.

Lenie van Rossem, PhD, from the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues used data from 3,367 children participating in a birth cohort starting in 1996 to examine the correlation of GWG and post-delivery weight change with a child’s weight development. Data on weight and height were self-reported; GWG was classified as inadequate, adequate, and excessive.

The researchers found that there was higher body mass index (BMI) z score and overweight prevalence throughout childhood for children of mothers with excessive GWG (odds ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 0.99–1.46). Compared to children of mothers with a low (<0.5kg/year) post-delivery weight gain, children of mothers with high (≥1kg/year) post-delivery weight gain had a 0.14 higher change in BMI z score between age 1–14 years. The highest BMI z score and overweight risk at age 14 were seen for children of mothers with excessive GWG in combination with high post-delivery weight gain (odds ratio, 3.53; 95% confidence interval, 1.70–7.33).

“Maternal GWG and post-delivery weight gain contribute to child’s weight development up to adolescence independently,” the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to TEVA Pharmaceuticals.

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