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Publication Detail

Title: Overall gestational weight gain mediates the relationship between maternal and child obesity.

Authors: Josey, Michele J; McCullough, Lauren E; Hoyo, Cathrine; Williams-DeVane, ClarLynda

Published In BMC Public Health, (2019 Aug 07)

Abstract: Approximately 17% of children in the U.S. are obese. Children that are overweight or obese are also more likely to be obese as adults and suffer from various chronic diseases and premature death. Maternal obesity can affect the weight status of her offspring through intrauterine mechanisms like excessive gestational weight gain (GWG). Current literature shows a positive association between maternal weight status and GWG on child obesity, yet the direct and indirect effects have not been decomposed or quantified. The purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of maternal obesity on child obesity, mediated by GWG, which is a modifiable risk factor.The study participants were a birth cohort of offspring from women who received prenatal care in the Duke/Durham Regional health care system in Durham, NC between 2005 and 2009. Anthropomorphic data was collected via electronic medical records (EMRs) during each voluntary visit to a health care facility. The exposure of interest was maternal obesity, measured by pre-pregnancy body mass index, the mediator was GWG, dichotomized into excessive and not excessive based on maternal prenatal BMI, and the outcome was child obesity at age 4, measured as BMI z-scores from the last recorded height and weight. A counterfactual theory-based product method analysis estimated the mediated effects of GWG, adjusted for maternal race, socioeconomic status, and smoking status.Of the 766 children, 25% were overweight or obese, and among all mothers, 25 and 31% were overweight and obese, respectively. Maternal BMI was associated with an overall increase of 0.04 in offspring z-score. The proportion of the effect of maternal obesity on child age 4 obesity mediated by GWG was 8.1%.GWG, in part, mediated the relationship between maternal BMI and childhood adiposity. Even when the mediator is fixed, children are at an increased risk of a higher BMI if the mother is obese. These findings highlight an important public health education opportunity to stress the impact of a pre-pregnancy weight and excessive GWG on the risk of child obesity for all mothers.

PubMed ID: 31391077 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adult; Child, Preschool; Female; Gestational Weight Gain*; Humans; Male; Mothers/statistics & numerical data*; Obesity/epidemiology*; Pediatric Obesity/epidemiology*; Pregnancy; Risk Factors

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