Researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston and Harokopio University have found that insufficient exercise, smoking and excessive weight gain during pregnancy can lead to obesity in the babies.
The researchers randomly selected 5,125 children from a national database in Greece and matched them with their mothers. The study found that the amount of weight gained throughout pregnancy, the level of physical activity and smoking status was strongly associated with obesity in children.
Moderate exercise during pregnancy was found to lower the risk of a child becoming overweight or obese in childhood, even after adjusting for the other maternal and child characteristics.
Prof. Labros Sidossis, Internal Medicine and Surgery, UTMB said that health care professionals should advise expecting mothers to limit their pregnancy weight gain to the recommended range, involve in moderate exercise during pregnancy and to quit smoking and alcohol.