How being overweight in pregnancy affects your child

Barbara Moore, PhD, President, Shape Up America, explains how both baby and mother are negatively affected when the mother is overweight during pregnancy, including risk of disease, complications during birth, and gestational diabetes.
How Being Overweight During Pregnancy Affects Your Baby
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How being overweight in pregnancy affects your child

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Well, this is an area that's very actively being researched, and we don't have all of the answers, but what it appears is that obesity in the pregnant mom affects her metabolism. We know for example that obese pregnant moms are at high risk for gestational diabetes, which is pregnancy diabetes, or gestational hypertension, which is pregnancy high blood pressure. So it shouldn't be surprising that obesity is also affecting the developing baby. We don't know precisely how this is happening, but we do know that the course of pregnancy in obese women is more problematic. There are more pregnancy complications, but also the babies are at risk both for illness and disease. They have a higher rate of mortality when they're born. Often, they're premature. We don't have all the answers. We just know that there are much higher risks associated with pregnancy in obese women.

Barbara Moore, PhD, President, Shape Up America, explains how both baby and mother are negatively affected when the mother is overweight during pregnancy, including risk of disease, complications during birth, and gestational diabetes.

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Barbara J. Moore, PhD

President, Shape Up America!

Barbara J. Moore, PhD is president and CEO of Shape Up America!, a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. The mission of SUA is to raise awareness of obesity as a health issue through its award-winning website, Shapeup.org  and other communication channels.  Considered a leading authority on obesity in the United States, Dr. Moore served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children in Youth, which produced the landmark 2005 report Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance. Moore received her PhD in nutritional science from Columbia University. Her postdoctoral training in nutrition and physiology was at the University of California at Davis. She held an academic position at Rutgers University and also served in industry as General Manager of Program Development at Weight Watchers International.  She held several federal government positions at the White House and the National Institutes of Health before joining Shape Up America! in 1995. She holds a BA from Skidmore College and an MS in nutrition from Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition. 

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