Effects of having a baby on weight gain

Brown, Wendy J., Hockey, Richard and Dobson, Annette J. (2010) Effects of having a baby on weight gain. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 38 2: 163-170. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2009.09.044

Author Brown, Wendy J.
Hockey, Richard
Dobson, Annette J.
Title Effects of having a baby on weight gain
Journal name American Journal of Preventive Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0749-3797
Publication date 2010-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.09.044
Volume 38
Issue 2
Start page 163
End page 170
Total pages 8
Editor K. Patrick
Place of publication New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background  Women often blame weight gain in early adulthood on having a baby.

Purpose  The aim was to estimate the weight gain attributable to having a baby, after disentangling the effects of other factors that influence weight change at this life stage.

Methods  A longitudinal study of a randomly selected cohort of 6458 Australian women, aged 18–23 years in 1996, was conducted. Self-report mailed surveys were completed in 1996, 2000, 2003, and 2006, and data were analyzed in 2008.

Results  On average, women gained weight at the rate of 0.93% per year (95% CI=0.89, 0.98) or 605 g/year (95% CI=580, 635) for a 65-kg woman. Over the 10-year study period, partnered women with one baby gained almost 4 kg more, and those with a partner but no baby gained 1.8 kg more, than unpartnered childless women (after adjustment for other significant factors: initial BMI and age; physical activity, sitting time, energy intake (2003); education level, hours in paid work, and smoking).

Conclusions  Having a baby has a marked effect on 10-year weight gain, but there is also an effect attributable to getting married or living with a partner. Social and lifestyle as well as energy balance variables should be considered when developing strategies to prevent weight gain in young adult women.
© 2010 American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Keyword Middle-aged women
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 28 Feb 2010, 00:07:26 EST