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Fit Pregnancy

Aug/Sep 2003, "The Road To Obesity"


Overweight and Pregnant - The Road to Obesity
By Jill Alison Ganon

Women who are overweight before they become pregnant ten to retain weight afterward, and those who do not lose their pregnancy weight within six months of giving birth are at particular risk for obesity, a study published last year in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found.

"We call it the stair-step effect," says Jana Klauer, M.D., a New York weight and nutrition specialist. "It occurs when a woman retains the weight from her first pregnancy and becomes pregnant a second and maybe a third time without ever returning to her prepregnancy weight. A thin woman may find herself overweight after two or more pregnancies, and a woman who is slightly overweight when she first becomes pregnant and never loses her pregnancy weight may 'stair-step' herself into obesity the next time."

Breastfeeding can help: It burns more than 500 calories a day.

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