A study was conducted recently to examine if a woman's weight gain during pregnancy has an effect on children's bone health. The findings have been published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
The investigators analysed prospective data from 2,167 mother-child pairs from Portugal. In under/normal weight mothers, weight gain during pregnancy was associated with a slightly increased bone mass at 7 years of age in children, while in overweight/obese mothers, no beneficial effect of weight gain on bone mass was observed.
Given the well-known adverse implications of excessive weight gain during pregnancy for both the mother and child on various aspects of health, following the current recommendations on pregnancy weight gain should not have consequences on children's skeletal health.
"Until recently, it was a widely held scientific belief that any weight gain from the mother during pregnancy would have a beneficial effect on children's bone mass. Our study results corroborate that there is no benefit in gaining weight above the recommendations for pregnancy weight gain for children's bone mass, in both normal and overweight women prior to pregnancy," said lead author Dr. Teresa Monjardino, of the Universidade do Porto, in Portugal.