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Pediatrics and Child Health - Public Health and Epidemiology - Women's Health

Gestational Weight Gain and Body Mass Index in Children: Results from Three German Cohort Studies
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Author: Andreas Beyerlein et al.

by Andreas Beyerlein, Ina Nehring, Peter Rzehak, Joachim Heinrich, Manfred J. Müller, Sandra Plachta-Danielzik, Martin Wabitsch, Melanie Weck, Hermann Brenner, Dietrich Rothenbacher, Rüdiger von Kries


Previous studies suggested potential priming effects of gestational weight gain (GWG) on offspring’s body composition in later life. However, consistency of these effects in normal weight, overweight and obese mothers is less clear.


We combined the individual data of three German cohorts and assessed associations of total and excessive GWG (as defined by criteria of the Institute of Medicine) with offspring’s mean body mass index (BMI) standard deviation scores (SDS) and overweight at the age of 5–6 years (total: n?=?6,254). Quantile regression was used to examine potentially different effects on different parts of the BMI SDS distribution. All models were adjusted for birth weight, maternal age and maternal smoking during pregnancy and stratified by maternal pre-pregnancy weight status.


In adjusted models, positive associations of total and excessive GWG with mean BMI SDS and overweight were observed only in children of non- overweight mothers. For example, excessive GWG was associated with a mean increase of 0.08 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.15) units of BMI SDS (0.13 (0.02, 0.24) kg/m2 of ‘real’ BMI) in children of normal-weight mothers. The effects of total and excessive GWG on BMI SDS increased for higher- BMI children of normal-weight mothers.


Increased GWG is likely to be associated with overweight in offspring of non-overweight mothers.