Childbearing not linked with long-term obesity risk

Researchers from the University of North Carolina and UCLA examined the association of childbearing and obesity in an ethnically diverse sample of 2906 non-obese US female respondents to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health).

While they hypothesised that there would be a positive association between childbearing and obesity they found only a small “inconsequential association” after incidence and prevalence analyses.

Some 19.3% of parous women became obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) over seven years compared to 16.1% of unmatched nulliparous women. 

Researchers concluded that there would have been “little difference in obesity incidence in parous women in their late 20s and early 30s if they had remained nulliparous”. 

The study is the first of its kind to examine the effects of childbearing on the obesity risk of women giving birth in the 1990s and early 2000s. Previous studies