and ethnic backgrounds in their efforts to comply with recommended weight guidelines and to improve their maternal health?

The summary report from that workshop, Influence of Pregnancy Weight on Maternal and Child Health (NRC-IOM, 2007), includes a review of U.S. trends in maternal weight (before, during, and after pregnancy) among different populations of women. The workshop report also includes a discussion of the determinants of GWG; the relationships among maternal weight, GWG, and the health of women and children; interventions in health care and community settings that help women achieve appropriate weight levels during and after pregnancy; and emerging themes that warrant further examination in future studies. Taken together, the workshop and its summary report reinforce the need to reexamine recommendations for GWG, especially in light of the current obesity epidemic, and to highlight ways to encourage their adoption.


Sponsors1 asked the IOM’s Food and Nutrition Board and the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Board on Children, Youth, and Families to review and update the IOM (1990) recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy and recommend ways to encourage their adoption through consumer education, strategies to assist practitioners, and public health strategies.

The committee was asked to address the following tasks:

  1. Review evidence on the relationship between weight gain patterns before, during, and after pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes, with particular attention to the prevalence of maternal obesity racial/ethnic and age differences, components of GWG, and implications of weight during pregnancy on postpartum weight retention, maternal and child obesity, and later child health.

  2. Within a life-stage framework consider factors in relation to GWG that are associated with maternal health outcomes such as lactation


Sponsors include U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity and Obesity; National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; March of Dimes; with additional support from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and the National Minority AIDS Council.

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