Does excess pregnancy weight gain constitute a major risk for increasing long-term BMI?

Amanda R. Amorim, Stephan Rössner, Martin Neovius, Paula M. Lourenço, Yvonne Linné

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective was to assess the relevance of the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), regarding gestational weight gain (GWG) for long-term BMI development. Research Methods and Procedures: The Stockholm Pregnancy and Women's Nutrition is a follow-up study of 483 women who delivered children in 1984 to 1985. ANOVA was used to examine the change in body weight before pregnancy, at 6 months, and 1 year postpartum and 15 years after childbirth. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the predictors of BMI at 15-year follow-up. Results: The weight increase from baseline to 15-year follow-up was 6.2 kg for IOM-insufficient, 6.7 kg for IOM-recommended, and 10.0 kg for IOM-excessive weight gain (p < 0.01). ANOVA showed a main effect of time, group and group by time interaction. The weight of the women who had excessive GWG was significantly greater at each time-point of follow-up than the weight of those who gained within or below recommendations. GWG was related to BMI at 15-year follow-up even after accounting for several confounders. Women who gained excessive weight during pregnancy had an increase of 0.72 kg/m 2 in long-term BMI compared with women who gained within recommendations. Discussion: The findings support the adequateness of IOM guidelines, not only for the pregnancy-related health matters, but also for preventing long-term weight retention after delivery. Healthcare providers should give women appropriate advice for controlling GWG and motivate them to lose pregnancy-related weight during postpartum to prevent future overweight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1286
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • BMI
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight change
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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