Australia's rising obesity rate is threatening babies

Maternal BMI is a big issue, research shows

Nearly a quarter of pre-eclampsia cases and a similar proportion of fetal macrosomia may be attributable to Australia’s rising level of overweight and obesity among pregnant women.

Researchers from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney have tracked maternal BMI at their institution across 25 years, finding that overweight increased from 12.7% to 16.4% and obesity increased from 4.8% to 7.3%.

They estimated that 24% of pre-eclampsia, 23% of fetal macrosomia and 17% of gestational diabetes among nulliparous women with singleton pregnancies from 2010-2014 was attributable to high BMI.