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The Prevention of Pediatric Obesity During Pregnancy: A Pilot Study

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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American children are becoming increasingly overweight. The prevalence of childhood obesity has tripled in recent decades. Obesity during childhood places youth at high risk for poor health outcomes as adults. Factors associated with the prenatal and early infant enviromnent are some of the earliest predictors of excessive weight gain in children that have been studied. Both excess and insufficient maternal prenatal weight gain have been associated with adverse cardiometabolic outcomes in late childhood and adulthood. Factors associated with childhood weight gain include maternal weight gain during pregnancy either too much or too little, weight gain during the first 6 months of life, and parental feeding behaviors after birth. Indeed, pregnant women may program their childs metabolism during the time that the child is a fetus. By targeting these early risk factors, the prevalence of pediatric overweight may be reduced. First-time pregnant women N8 voluntarily participated in a 6-session counseling intervention designed to prevent pediatric obesity. The intervention appeared to be feasible, acceptable to participants, and contribute to healthy weight gain in women and healthy birth weight in infants.

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