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Pregnancy‐associated weight gain – does it contribute to the rising rate of obesity in women in the UK?

Fiona Ford (Fiona Ford is a Research Dietitian at the Centre for Pregnancy Nutrition, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.)
Diane Barrowclough (Diane Barrowclough is a Midwifery Lecturer at the Department of Midwifery and Child Health Nursing, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 August 2001



In 1980, 8 per cent of women in the UK were classified as obese (body mass index over 30). By 1998, the prevalence of obesity had increased to 21 per cent and there is no sign that this upward trend is moderating. Many women retrospectively attribute the onset of their obesity to pregnancy, yet research in this area has yielded conflicting evidence. Unlike the USA, the UK does not have clinical guidelines for gestational weight gain. Health professionals such as GPs, midwives and obstetricians have a responsibility to monitor normal pregnancy, yet typically in the UK, women are weighed only once i.e. at the antenatal booking appointment, which is primarily undertaken for the interpretation of screening tests. This paper will review recent evidence relating gestational weight gain and maternal outcomes such as the burden of postpartum obesity and the risk of caesarean section. In addition, some practical advice is given for heath professionals to use when monitoring the weight gain of pregnant women in their care.



Ford, F. and Barrowclough, D. (2001), "Pregnancy‐associated weight gain – does it contribute to the rising rate of obesity in women in the UK?", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 183-188.




Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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