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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines 2 Descriptive Epidemiology and Trends The committee began its reexamination of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (1990) recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy by evaluating trends since 1990 in both prepregnancy maternal body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG). As described in detail in Chapter 3, prepregnancy BMI and GWG are interrelated. When evaluating trends in GWG, the committee considered whether women were gaining weight within the ranges recommended in the IOM (1990) report. The committee also evaluated trends since 1990 in postpartum weight retention. The committee then examined trends since 1990 in key weight-related sociodemographic maternal characteristics and pregnancy outcomes (i.e., characteristics and outcomes known to be associated with prepregnancy BMI and/or GWG). Weight-related pregnancy outcomes include both maternal and child health outcomes. This chapter summarizes the committee’s evaluation of these two areas of descriptive epidemiology. This information provides a context for understanding the sociodemographic and behavioral environment that may influence successful promotion of healthy GWG and optimal pregnancy outcomes. TRENDS IN MATERNAL WEIGHT AND GESTATIONAL WEIGHT GAIN Maternal Body Mass Index One of the most serious issues that practitioners and scientists have faced in the past 30 years is the increase in prevalence of overweight and
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines TABLE 2-1 Distribution of BMI (World Health Organization categories) from 1976 to 2004 Among U.S. Nonpregnant Women 12 to 44 Years of Age by Race or Ethnicity and Age (percentage) 1976-1980 1988-1994 1999-2004 Total (%) Underweight 6.0 4.4 3.5 Normal weight 62.1 53.4 41.1 Overweight 18.8 20.8 25.3 Class I obese 7.9 12.2 15.8 Class II obese 3.5 6.0 7.7 Class III obese 1.7 3.4 6.5 By Race or Ethnicity Non-Hispanic white (%) Underweight 6.3 4.7 4.3 Normal weight 64.2 58.3 46.4 Overweight 17.9 18.4 23.3 Class I obese 7.2 10.5 13.8 Class II obese 2.9 5.3 6.9 Class III obese 1.5 2.8 5.3 Non-Hispanic black (%) Underweight 3.9 2.7 —a Normal weight 47.8 37.3 23.4 Overweight 24.4 27.7 25.7 Class I obese 13.3 15.8 23.7 Class II obese 7.3 9.7 12.2 Class III obese —a 6.8 13.3 obesity among American women of childbearing age (Flegal et al., 1998; Mokdad et al., 1999; IOM, 2005; Kim et al., 2007). The prevalence of obesity in women 12 to 44 years of age has more than doubled since 1976 (Table 2-1). Data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in 1999-2004 showed that nearly two-thirds of women of child-bearing age were classified as overweight (as defined by BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2), and almost one-third were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) (personal communication, A. Branum, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], December 2008). Obesity is far more common among racial or ethnic minority groups and increases in prevalence with advancing age.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines 1976-1980 1988-1994 1999-2004 Mexican American (%) Underweight —b 1.9 —a Normal weight —b 36.0 32.0 Overweight —b 32.3 32.6 Class I obese —b 18.1 19.6 Class II obese 6.9 7.9 Class III obese 4.7 6.7 By Age Age 20-34 (%) Underweight 7.1 5.1 4.6 Normal weight 64.9 58.3 44.2 Overweight 16.8 18.2 23.9 Class I obese 6.9 10.6 14.8 Class II obese 3.0 5.2 7.1 Class III obese 1.4 2.6 5.4 Age 35-44 (%) Underweight 3.8 3.3 2.1 Normal weight 55.7 46.8 37.3 Overweight 23.2 24.2 27.1 Class I obese 10.2 14.2 17.1 Class II obese 4.8 7.0 8.6 Class III obese —a 4.4 7.9 NOTE: Underweight, < 18.5 kg/m2; normal, 18.5 to < 25.0 kg/m2; overweight, 25.0 to < 30.0 kg/m2; class I obese, 30.0 to < 35.0 kg/m2; class II obese, 35.0 to < 40 kg/m2; class III obese, ≥ 40 kg/m2. aInsufficient unweighted data to make reliable estimates. bHispanic ethnicity not available in 1976-1980 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). SOURCE: Personal communication, A. Branum, CDC, Hyattsville, Maryland, December 2, 2008. Importantly, the prevalence of severe obesity, once a relatively rare condition, has increased dramatically among women of childbearing age (Table 2-1). Between 1979 and 2004, class I and II obesity doubled and class III obesity tripled. Trends are similar by age. The prevalence of all classes of obesity is lowest in white non-Hispanic women and highest in non-Hispanic black women; among the latter, the prevalence of class I obesity approaches 25 percent, and the prevalence of class II and III obesity each exceeds 10 percent. Almost one-fifth of Hispanic women have class I obesity, with the proportions of class II and III obesity each approaching 10 percent.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines Because of these trends, more women are already obese when they become pregnant. Based on data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), one-fifth of American women are obese (BMI > 29 kg/m2) at the start of pregnancy, a figure that has risen 70 percent in the past decade (Kim et al., 2007) (Figure 2-1). More specifically, although the prevalence of overweight has increased only slightly in the population as a whole and among black and white women, the prevalence of obesity doubled in white women and increased by 50 percent in black women. These statistics are based on data from only nine states; no nationally representative data are available from a modern cohort to provide trends in pregravid BMI values. Body Mass Index Classification The report Nutrition During Pregnancy (IOM, 1990) recommended the use of BMI to classify maternal prepregnancy weight. The four prepregnancy BMI categories used in that report were selected to be consistent with 90 percent, 120 percent, and 135 percent of the 1959 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company’s ideal weight-for-height standards—the standard most FIGURE 2-1 Trends in the distribution of BMIa from 1993 to 2003 among prepregnant U.S. women in the total population and by race or ethnicity. aIOM BMI categories were used (underweight, < 19.8 kg/m2; normal weight, 19.8-26.0 kg/m2; overweight, 26.1-29.0 kg/m2; obese, > 29 kg/m2). SOURCE: Kim et al., 2007.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines commonly used in the United States when the report was written. Since then, the World Health Organization (WHO, 1998) has developed and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI, 1998) has adopted the use of new BMI categories. The WHO BMI categories are based on different considerations and, as a result, are defined differently than those in the IOM (1990) report. The WHO BMI categories also include several grades or categories of obesity (see Table 2-2). The weight gain categories identified in IOM (1990) classify more women as underweight than the more stringent WHO cutoff point, while the WHO categories classify more women as overweight and fewer women as obese, with similar differences by race or ethnicity and age. In 1999-2004, with either the IOM or WHO cutoff points, about half of women are overweight (BMI > 26 with IOM cutoff point or > 25 with WHO cutoff point) (Figure 2-2). Gestational Weight Gain Assessment of both prepregnant BMI and GWG requires rigorous methods of data collection (see Table 2-3). Unfortunately, most of the data available to the committee were not collected with a high level of rigor, and most studies relied on recalled weight values (see Table 2-4). Although the IOM (1990) report called for collection of national data on GWG, prepregnancy height, and weight for proper surveillance, today there are still no nationally representative data with which to study trends in GWG in the United States. The committee used three sets of data for its evaluation of GWG: birth certificate, PRAMS, and Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System (PNSS) data. The latter two datasets (see Appendix A for descriptions) also provided information on prepregnant BMI. Data Obtained from Birth Certificates Data obtained by standard U.S. birth certificates from 49 states illustrate that from 1990 to 2005 reported weight gains among singleton TABLE 2-2 Comparison of Institute of Medicine (IOM) and World Health Organization (WHO) BMI Categories Category IOM WHO Underweight < 19.8 kg/m2 < 18.5 kg/m2 Normal weight 19.8-26 kg/m2 18.5-24.9 kg/m2 Overweight 26.1-29 kg/m2 25-29.9 kg/m2 Obese Class I > 29 kg/m2 30-34.9 kg/m2 Obese Class II — 35-39.9 kg/m2 Obese Class III — ≥ 40 kg/m2
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines FIGURE 2-2 Distribution of BMI from 1999 to 2004 among U.S. nonpregnant women 12 to 44 years of age using the IOMa (1990) and the WHOb BMI cutoff points. aIOM (1990) BMI categories are underweight, < 19.8 kg/m2; normal, 19.8-26.0 kg/m2; overweight, 26.1-29.0 kg/m2; obese, > 29 kg/m2. bWHO BMI categories are underweight, < 18.5 kg/m2; normal, 18.5-24.9 kg/m2; overweight, 25.0-29.9 kg/m2; obese, ≥ 30 kg/m2. SOURCE: Personal communication, A. Branum, CDC, Hyattsville, Maryland, April 15, 2008. pregnancy mothers of term, of < 16 pounds and > 40 pounds both increased (Figure 2-3). Weight gain within the broad recommended range (16 to 40 pounds) (IOM, 1990) declined slowly during this 15-year period. Unfortunately, the standard birth certificate lacks data on maternal prepregnancy weight and height. Thus, data from this source cannot provide information about GWG relative to prepregnant BMI category. Additionally, the data on prepregnancy weight was self-reported and therefore more variable than clinical measures. The loss in precision and the degree of bias due to self-reporting must be taken into account when interpreting those data. There were some important differences in low and high gains among women in the different racial/ethnic and age groups. Specifically, the greatest increase in the proportion of women with a weight gain > 40 pounds from 1990 to 2005 was among white women (Figure 2-4). In 2005, adolescents (< 20 years old) were more likely to gain excessive weight during
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines TABLE 2-3 Data Required to Assess Trends in Pregnancy-Related Maternal Weight and the Ideal and Practical Methods of Measurement and Acquisition Required Data Method of Measurement and Acquisition Ideal Practical Prepreganancy weight Measureda at a preconceptional visit Recalled at the first prenatal visit using a standardized question Prepreganancy height Measureda at the first prenatal visit Gestational weight gain Total gain: last measured available weight abstracted from clinical records Total gain: maternal recall of last available weight Pattern of gain: requires trimester-specific or midpregnancy weight abstractions Gestational age at last available weightb Abstracted from clinical records Postpartum weight Total retention: measured maternal weight abstracted from clinical records Total retention: recalled maternal postpartum weight Measured longitudinally in nonpregnant women Cross-sectionally in nonpregnant women Time: serial measurements 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months after delivery Time: 3, 6, 9, 12, or 18 months after delivery aAll weight and height measurements should be performed in light clothing without shoes. bThe gestational age at delivery may vary substantially from the gestational age at the last prenatal visit. Thus, misclassification may result if the gestational age at delivery is used in combination with weight at the last prenatal visit to determine weight gain adequacy. pregnancy than women 35 years of age and older. Between 1990 and 2005, there was a 31 percent increase in GWG of at least 40 pounds in singleton pregnancies among adolescents (NCHS, 2007a). In 2005, weight gain of < 15 pounds was more common among black and Hispanic than among white women (Figure 2-5). Within each racial or ethnic group, the proportion of women with low gains increased with advancing age. Weight Gain Relative to Prepregnancy BMI Unfortunately, the standard birth certificate lacks data on maternal prepregnancy weight and height. Thus, data from this source cannot pro-
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines TABLE 2-4 National Data Sources for Maternal Weight and Their Methods of Acquiring Key Variables Data Source Prepregnancy Weight Prepregnancy Height Gestational Weight Gain Postpartum Weight Data Coverage Ideal Recalled weight at first prenatal visit is abstracted from clinical records Measured height at first prenatal visit is abstracted from clinical records Last recorded weight is abstracted from clinical records Measured weight at least once starting 3 months or more postpartum 50 states, little to no missing data Standard U.S. birth certificate Not available Not available Recalled at delivery Not applicable 49 states (excludes California) Revised 2003 U.S. birth certificate Recalled at delivery Recalled at delivery Based on last recorded weight abstracted from the medical record Not applicable 19 states in 2006 PRAMS Recalled at 2-4 months postpartum Recalled at 2-4 months postpartum Obtained from birth certificates (recalled at delivery) Not available 8 states PNSS Recalled at the prenatal visit or postpartum visit Measured at the prenatal visit or postpartum visit Recalled at the postpartum visit Measured at WIC postpartum recertification visit Low-income women in 26 states IFPS II Recalled in the postpartum period Recalled in the postpartum period Recalled in the postpartum period Recalled at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months Nationally distributed consumer opinion panel NOTE: IFPS II = Infant Feeding Practices Study II; PNSS = Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System; WIC = Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines FIGURE 2-3 Weight gain during pregnancy for singleton term births in the United States, 1990-2005. NOTES: California does not report weight gain in pregnancy. Term is ≥ 37 weeks’ gestation. SOURCE: NCHS, 2007a. vide information about GWG relative to prepregnant BMI category. Birth certificate data may yield more useful statistics for weight gain surveillance in the near future. The IOM (1990) report called for collection of maternal prepregnancy weight and height, and these fields were added to the 2003 revised U.S. birth certificate, and by 2006, 19 states were using the revised birth certificate. At present, the two large surveillance systems collecting data on GWG and prepregnancy BMI in the United States, PRAMS and PNSS, permit identification of trends in recommended weight gains, although neither system is nationally representative. For PRAMS, GWG is taken from the birth certificate and other data are either pulled from medical records or are provided by maternal recall. Data Obtained from PRAMS PRAMS collects GWG data from birth certificates, and maternal prepregnancy height and weight are obtained from maternal interview in the
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines FIGURE 2-4 Percentage of women in the United States who gained more than 40 pounds during pregnancy, by race or ethnicity of the mother, 1990, 2000, and 2005. NOTES: Includes only mothers with a singleton delivery and only non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic mothers (who might be of any race). The total number of women who gained > 40 pounds was 456,678 in 1990, 588,253 in 2000, and 656,363 in 2005. SOURCE: CDC, 2008a. FIGURE 2-5 Percentage of women in the United States who gained less than 15 pounds during pregnancy by age and race or ethnicity of the mother, 2005. NOTES: Includes only mothers with a term (≥ 37 weeks’ gestation), singleton infant; excludes data for California. SOURCE: CDC, 2008b.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines postpartum period. Currently, 37 states, New York City and the Yankton Sioux Tribe (South Dakota) participate in PRAMS (available online at http://www.cdc.gov/prams/ [accessed February 5, 2009]). For the analysis of trends in GWG reported here, data were limited to the eight PRAMS states with at least 70 percent response rates and to women with complete data on prepregnancy BMI and singleton, term pregnancies (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Maine, New York [excludes New York City], Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia). Limitations in the dataset, including self-reported weight, were considered. In 2002-2003, PRAMS data indicate that the mean GWG was highest in underweight and normal weight women and declined in overweight and obese women among all racial/ethnic groups (Figure 2-6). The mean GWG among underweight and normal weight women in all racial/ethnic groups was within the recommended range but was higher than recommended for overweight women. For obese women, average weight gains were well FIGURE 2-6 Mean gestational weight gain by BMI category and race or ethnicity, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2002-2003. NOTE: WHO BMI categories were used (underweight, < 18.5 kg/m2; normal, 18.5-24.9 kg/m2; overweight, 25.0-29.9 kg/m2; obese, ≥ 30 kg/m2). SOURCE: Information contributed to the committee in consultation with P. Dietz, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia, January 2009.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines TABLE 2-7 Estimates of LGA by Sex, Race or Ethnicity, and Year: United States 1990 1995 2000 2005 Males Total 11.1 10.7 10.7 9.4 Non-Hispanic white 12.4 12.1 12.2 10.7 Non-Hispanic black 7.5 7.2 6.9 6.2 Hispanic 10.2 9.8 9.9 8.9 White 12.0 11.6 11.6 10.2 Black 7.5 7.2 7.0 6.4 American Indian/Alaska Native 13.8 13.6 13.2 12.0 Asian/Pacific Islander 6.5 6.2 6.1 5.4 Females Total 10.5 10.3 10.4 9.1 Non-Hispanic white 11.7 11.6 12.1 10.2 Non-Hispanic black 7.1 6.8 6.8 5.9 Hispanic 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.0 White 11.3 11.2 11.3 9.8 Black 7.1 6.8 6.8 6.1 American Indian/Alaska Native 14.3 13.5 13.5 12.8 Asian/Pacific Islander 6.8 6.6 6.4 5.7 NOTE: Singleton births only. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/VitalStats.htm [accessed February 12, 2009]. Preterm Birth In 2005, 12.5 percent of all births were delivered preterm. The preterm birth rate has increased 20 percent since 1990 and 9 percent since 2000 (Figure 2-25). The greatest increase has been among late preterm births, those occurring at 34-36 weeks’ gestation, which have climbed 25 percent since 1990. The preterm birth rate for singleton gestations increased 13 percent from 1990 to 2005, again with late preterm births accounting for a majority of the increase. An increase in the rates of cesarean deliveries and induced births contributes to but does not completely explain this trend in late preterm births (March of Dimes, available online at http://www.marchofdimes.com/files/MP_Late_Preterm_Birth-Every_Week_Matters_3-24-06.pdf [accessed January 14, 2009]). There is a striking racial disparity in the rate of preterm birth (Figure 2-26). Since 1990, the preterm birth rate increased 38 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 10 percent for Hispanic births; it decreased among non-Hispanic black mothers through most of the 1990s although it is up 12 percent since 2000. Over the past 15 years, non-Hispanic black women have been about twice as likely as non-Hispanic white women to deliver before 37 weeks’ gestation.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines FIGURE 2-25 Preterm birth rates for all births and for singletons only: United States, 1990, 2000, and 2005. SOURCE: NCHS, 2007a. FIGURE 2-26 Trends in preterm live births in the United States by race, 1990 to 2005. NOTE: Preterm is defined as an infant born before 37 weeks of gestation. SOURCE: NCHS, 2007a.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines Breastfeeding Analysis of data from the Ross Laboratories Mothers Survey, a large, national survey (Ryan et al., 2002), shows that the rates of breastfeeding initiation (in-hospital) and breastfeeding at 6 months rose by 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in the 1990s. In 2001, rates were at their highest point in 40 years (Figures 2-27 and 2-28). Recent data from the National Immunization Survey, a population-based survey conducted by the CDC, showed that these rates continued to rise from 2000 to 2004. There are remarkable disparities in rates of breastfeeding. Mothers who were white or Hispanic, older, college-educated, and not enrolled in WIC were significantly more likely to breastfeed and exclusively breastfeed in the hospital and at 6 months (Ryan et al., 2002). Childhood Obesity Nationally representative data show continuous increases in obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile) among American school-aged children and adolescents from 1980 to the present (available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/childhood/prevalence.htm FIGURE 2-27 In-hospital breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding rates, 1965-2001. SOURCE: Ryan et al., 2002. Reproduced with permission from Pediatrics, Vol. 110, pp. 1103-1109. Copyright © 2002 by the AAP.
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines FIGURE 2-28 Breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding rates at 6 months of age, 1971-2001. SOURCE: Ryan et al., 2002. Reproduced with permission from Pediatrics, Vol. 110, pp. 1103-1109. Copyright © 2002 by the AAP. [accessed April 15, 2009]) (Figure 2-29). Recent data suggest that this trend may be slowing (Ogden et al., 2008). Population estimates from 2003 through 2006 suggest that almost a third of 2-19 year olds were at or above the 85th BMI percentile for sex and age (Ogden et al., 2008). Of these, 16 percent were above the 95th percentile, well above the Healthy People 2010 goal of 5 percent, and 11.3 percent were above 97th percentile (rates of high BMI varied by age and race/ethnicity). Non-Hispanic black adolescents have a dramatically greater prevalence of overweight compared to non-Hispanic whites; Mexican American girls also have somewhat higher rates (Table 2-8).
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines FIGURE 2-29 Prevalence of obesity (≥ 95th percentile) among children and adolescents, United States, collected from 1963-2004, and reported from 1965-2006. SOURCES: Ogden et al., 2006, 2008. TABLE 2-8 Prevalence of High BMI by Age Among U.S. Adolescent Girls (12-19 years of age), 2003-2006 BMI Percentile of CDC Growth Charts Non-Hispanic Black % (SE) Mexican American % (SE) Non-Hispanic White % (SE) ≥ 85th 44.5 (1.5) 37.1 (1.9) 31.7 (1.9) ≥ 95th 27.7 (1.9) 19.9 (1.4) 14.5 (2.0) ≥ 97th 19.6 (1.5) 14.1 (1.3) 9.1 (1.6) NOTE: SE = standard error. SOURCE: Odgen et al., 2008. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Findings Since the release of the weight gain recommendations of IOM (1990): there has been a striking increase in the prevalence of maternal overweight and obesity, particularly among black, Hispanic, and older women; there has been an increase in the racial and ethnic diversity of U.S. births, as well as a rise in the proportion of older and un-
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines married mothers and a decrease in the proportion of teenaged mothers; and low (< 16 pound) and high (> 40 pound) GWG has become more common. American women of childbearing age are far from meeting national goals for dietary intake and physical activity, yet there is a dearth of nationally representative data on dietary intake, dieting practices and food insecurity among women of childbearing age in general and among pregnant women in particular. About half of reproductive-aged American women are trying to lose weight, and another one-third of pregnant women may be attempting to maintain their weight. The prevalence of attempted weight loss during pregnancy doubled in the past 20 years. Rates of preterm birth, GDM, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are increasing. The rise in cesarean births and the decline in LGA births appear to result from medical practice patterns and social factors. In the past 10 years, improvements that were observed during the twentieth century in maternal mortality and poor infant outcomes (mortality and low birth weight) have declined or ceased. There are racial and ethnic disparities in nearly all weight-related predictors and outcomes reviewed. Currently available data sources are inadequate for studying national trends in GWG. Even after the IOM (1990) report called for more sophisticated analyses, major gaps in GWG surveillance remain; specifically, data on prepregnancy weight and height, reliance on self-reported weight gain, and nationally representative sources are lacking. Gestational weight gain in excess of the recommended range for BMI is associated with significant postpartum weight retention. Major gaps in surveillance of postpartum weight exist. Notably, most national studies lack data on postpartum weight and/or the variables needed for its proper interpretation (namely, prepregnancy height and weight, GWG, dietary intake, physical activity, and breastfeeding status). Action Recommendations Action Recommendation 2-1: The committee recommends that the Department of Health and Human Services conduct routine surveillance of GWG and postpartum weight retention on a nationally representative sample of women and report the results by prepregnancy BMI (includ-
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexaming the Guidelines ing all classes of obesity), age, racial/ethnic group, and socioeconomic status. Action Recommendation 2-2: The committee recommends that all states adopt the revised version of the birth certificate, which includes fields for maternal prepregnancy weight, height, weight at delivery, and gestational age at the last measured weight. In addition, all states should strive for 100 percent completion of these fields on birth certificates and collaborate to share data, thereby allowing a complete national picture as well as regional snapshots. Supporting Actions At the first prenatal visit, health care providers should record weight at last menstrual period and maternal height without shoes. Gestational weight gain should be based on measured weights (in light clothing and no shoes) abstracted from prenatal records. Gestational age at the last recorded weight should be documented, preferably through an early ultrasound, to properly evaluate adequacy of weight gain. To aid in data analysis, all data should be collected in a continuous form rather than categorically. As part of maternal weight surveillance, health care providers should document the prevalence of obesity grades I, II, and II rather than categorize women into one obesity group (BMI > 30 kg/m2). Areas for Additional Investigation The committee identified the following areas for further investigation to support its research recommendations: The research community should conduct future monitoring of GWG. Federal agencies should standardize the use of the WHO BMI cutoff points in all data collection relevant to monitoring weight gain in pregnancy. REFERENCES American Psychiatric Association. 1994. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. Bish C. L., H. M. Blanck, M. K. Serdula, M. Marcus, H. W. Kohl, 3rd and L. K. Khan. 2005. Diet and physical activity behaviors among Americans trying to lose weight: 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Obesity Research 13(3): 596-607.
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