The association between maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, gestational weight gain and child adiposity: A racial-ethnically diverse cohort of children

Academic Article


  • Background: The prevalence of obesity in US children has more than tripled in the past 40 years; hence, it is critical to identify potentially modifiable factors that may mitigate the risk. Objectives: To examine the association between maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), gestational weight gain (GWG) and child adiposity as measured by BMI, waist circumference and percent body fat in a racial-ethnically diverse cohort. Methods: In a prospective cohort study of healthy women without chronic disease, we examined the association between pre-pregnancy BMI, GWG and child adiposity. Children ages 4–8 years (n = 816) in the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes-NICHD Fetal Growth Studies were assessed. Trained study staff ascertained maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, GWG and child adiposity. Results: The odds of child obesity (≥95th BMI percentile) increased independently for each unit increase in maternal pre-pregnancy BMI [OR = 1.12 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.17)] and for each 5-kg increase in GWG [OR = 1.25 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.47)]. The odds of child waist circumference (≥85th percentile) also increased independently for pre-pregnancy BMI [OR = 1.09 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.12)] and GWG [OR = 1.18 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.34)]. Conclusions: Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and GWG were each independently and positively associated with child obesity and high child waist circumference.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Pediatric Obesity  Journal
  • Pediatric Obesity  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hunt KJ; Ferguson PL; Neelon B; Commodore S; Bloom MS; Sciscione AC; Grobman WA; Kominiarek MA; Newman RB; Tita AT
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 8