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August 4th, 2010
06:30 PM ET

Born to be fat?

Expectant mothers who watch their weight during pregnancy increase the chances their baby will maintain a healthy weight throughout life, according to a study in the British journal The Lancet.

But when pregnant women overindulge and gain too much weight during their 9 months, they tend to give birth to heavier babies who are at higher risk for obesity as children and adults, the researchers found.

Obesity is associated with a number of health issues including cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and asthma.

Study author Dr. David Ludwig of Children's Hospital Boston set out to  determine if pregnancy weight gain alone is related to higher infant birth weights and not due to obesity-related genes.

Ludwig and his colleagues reviewed medical records of more than one and a half  million women and children over a 15 year period.  Each woman had 2 or more children. The researchers examined the differences in the amount of weight gained by the same mom in each pregnancy to see if these differences affected the weight of each child.

"A woman who gained 50 pounds during pregnancy compared to 20 pounds had double the risk of having a high birth weight baby," said Ludwig.

The babies born to heavier mothers weighed at least 8 and a half pounds, or a third of a pound more than the children of mothers who weighed less.

Scientists are still trying to determine how excess pregnancy weight leads to weight gain down the road for children,

Ludwig speculates some of a mother's excess calories make their way across the placenta not only making the baby heavy but disrupting some key stages of the child's development. Extra sugar, called glucose, and other factors affect the infant's genes and "may produce permanent changes in the baby's tissues or in the brain regions that regulate hunger and metabolism," he said.

This means these children tend to want to eat more, and may gain more weight than other children even when eating the same amount of food.

Ludwig and other experts have said that the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States may shorten life expectancies for the first time since the Civil War unless something is done about it.

"Because birth weight influences lifetime risk of chronic illness and especially obesity, the best time to begin obesity prevention efforts for the next generation may be before birth," explains Ludwig.

Last year the Institute of Medicine released new guidelines for healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Women should gain 28 to 40 pounds if underweight, 25 to 35 pounds if they are at a normal weight, 15 to 25 pounds if they are overweight, and 11 to 20 pounds if they are obese.


soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. Scott S

    Eat less and move more....

    August 5, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • STL

      OMG! So that is how you lose weight! Spread the word so everyone can fit the mold society had deemed attractive!!!!

      August 6, 2010 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
  2. Sandy

    This whole thing reminds me of the way morning people take credit for being alert, even though it happens naturally. They call night owls lazy, because it is hard for them to get up early. Night owls can get to work on time, but it takes a lot of effort. Likewise, people who are naturally normal weight (or thin) maintain their weight without the sort of effort that those who are naturally heavy must practice, should they reach a "normal" weight. They may feel that they are doing all kinds of healthy things, and maybe they are - but the big thing is that their metabolism does what it should, something they do not control. The naturally heavy must concentrate attention on everything they eat and everything they do for their entire lives, should they wish to appear normal. This is a difficult task, and it isn't surprising that 95%+ fail at it.

    Those who think it's not that big a deal should keep a food diary for a few weeks, and cut out 500 calories a day (weight loss of one pound per week). Yes, they'll be hungry, just like the obese people who do the same. Your body wants enough food to maintain it, no matter what size you are. If you're going to mouth off about how lazy fat people are, try walking the walk first. Don't be surprised if you dislike feeling hungry all the time, and give up - you lazy devil.

    August 5, 2010 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      Sorry, i did just that (more like 800 calories) and after a really bad month, it all of a sudden wasn't a big deal. If you're too unmotivated to make yourself suffer a little bit to get in better shape, then you get 0 pity from me. I did it, and it wasn't that bad.

      August 5, 2010 at 17:15 | Report abuse |
  3. Reesagirl

    This is such a generality. I was a "large" baby, over 8 pounds at birth, born to a tiny mother who barely weighed 120 in her 9th month of pregnancy. Since puberty, I have battled my weight up and down, always seeming to hover between 15-25 pounds over my goal weight. I was at my heaviest yet, 40 pounds over my goal weight and I had just begun a new diet and fitness regimen when I discovered I was pregnant, and gained 50 pounds! My daughter was born a little over 7 pounds and eats like crazy, but we can't keep weight on her. According to this article, none of this should be true! I think there are lots of factors that tie into a person's weight. Diet, exercise, metabolism, health factors, etc. all play a role and should be something we are all conscious of. No one thing will make you fat. Yes, I think genetically some of us will have more trouble than others keeping our weight down, it just means that we have to be a little more vigilant. Life in moderation people. And yes, I did manage to lose the 50 pounds, plus another 30, and am working on the last 15, by simply knowing my body and watching the things I know contribute to weight gain and moving more! Food is like a drug to so many, me included, that it took me waking up and seeing what I was doing, and the example I would potentially be setting for my daughter, to make a change.

    August 5, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • "Big Guy"

      I think that there is some truth to this. I was born 10 lbs 11 oz, and with what the doctors call, an "unnaturally dense bone structure". Nowadays I'm 6' 7", around 236 lbs, barrel chested, strong chinned, and overall heavy-set. As was my mother, her father, his father, and so on.

      It's only logical that some people would be more heavy-set, genealogically. I've learned to deal with my weight by exercising, and building muscle. But, people always seemed to judge me on my weight during Junior and Senior High-school. All the names, bullying, and social excommunication during those years have done some serious damage on my mental health and self esteem. I remember trying to commit sucicde, and becoming quite the brute eventually.

      I felt so alone and disadvantaged, like the whole world was out to get me, and society would never accept me because of the way I was born. A lot of younger people who are obese or even slightly chubby feel the same way, and I think that genetics does play a major role in it.

      I guess what I'm trying to say is, we shouldn't as a society shun people who aren't naturally thin. Different people do have different body types, and it's not at all fair to say that someone is unfit for normal life because of how they were born.

      February 10, 2013 at 00:26 | Report abuse |
  4. Elaine

    Thanks to CNN for the rudely misleading image on the front page of CNN.com – an image of a pregnant woman should not be attached to the headline "Born to Be Fat".

    August 5, 2010 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Kathleen

    Here we go again. CNN is scapegoating women for America's weight problem. Hey, CNN needs to tell men how to lose weight and get rid of its double standard.

    August 5, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. rightinaz

    it

    August 5, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rightinaz

    It is a matter a of thermodynamics. Anybody will gain weight if they eat more calories than the body can burn or excrete. Anybody will lose weight if they eat less than the body can burn or excrete. Just ask the starved victims of WW2 concentration camps. Do you think any them were fat after spending a year there?

    August 5, 2010 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Char

    There are exceptions to every rule and I an my children do not fit this rule. I have had a weight problem most of my life. With my first pregnancy I gained 18 pounds and had a 5 lb 9 oz baby girl who is now an adult and 5 ft 3 in tall. With my second pregnancy I gained 22 pounds and had a 9 lb 5 oz baby girlwho is now an adult and 6 ft tall. With my 3rd pregnancy I gained 25 lbs and had a 9 lb 9 oz baby boy who is now an adult and 6 ft 2 in tall. All 3 of my children are overweight. This is genetics – not the amount of weight gained during pregnancy!!!

    August 5, 2010 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Rod 1148

    So if gaining excess weight during pregnancy causes adult obesity, why are pregnancy women fatter now than 40 years ago? If it's genetic how did our genes change so quickly over a few decades. And, why does this happen primarily in Western World. There is no getting around it, behavior plays THE major role.

    August 5, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Bill

    The biggest flaw I see with this study is the conclusion that the researchers came to. Their conclusion is that overweight pregnant mothers who have overweight babies might effect the babies genes and this might cause permanent changes in the baby's tissues or in the brain regions that regulate hunger and metabolism.

    Maybe it is more simple than that. Simply put overweight pregnant women might be overweight when they are not pregnant and they might be feeding their children too much. It is not unusual to see obese parents who have obese children because everyone is eating too much.

    The obese epidemic that we see in this country is caused by people eating too much food and too much of the wrong foods coupled with no exercise. For thousands of years people had normal weight. With the advent of processed and fast foods in the last 20 to 30 years we see the weight gain. Now, we want to say its peoples genes. If that is the case we are
    witnessing one of the most rapid evolutionary changes in the history of humans.

    August 5, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. happy and overweight

    For those who are obese I pray you all would find the courage and motivation to move more and eat less. I am obese but I never give up the fight to slim down. However, in my family all the woman gain excessive weight after age 40, but that is not an excuse to be overweight but it is a fact. I remember saying when I was younger there is no way I will look like mommy but here I am over 50 and looking like mommy. For those who have never suffered from being overweight I pray you never will have to experience it because people are cruel and nasty in there speech and behavior. Name-calling is not necessary lets all be kind and gracious to each others.

    August 5, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A guy with fibromyaliga.

      keep at it. You have your whole life to get fit. Hire a helping hand to give you food guidelines, and exercise guidelines, and you can't fail. Just don't accept that the woman get fat, be the one who doesn't. But I think people are cruel, and evident self abuse is an easy target. Like obesity, or drug addiction. If it's an obvious weakness people pounce. Good people are hard to find. A friend who tells you that you're getting fat and need exercise is even harder to find.

      August 5, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
  12. John

    If your looking to change how you look you have to change how you eat, sleep, and train. I diet is not a short term goal, but a lifelong commitment. There are so many ways people will tell you to lose weight however you have to find the right one that works for you. You need a good nights rest, you cant go out partying all night and then go to work at 7 am the next day and not expect to feel the ramifications of your actions.
    You have to accept that a diet change is a lifestyle change and it happens gradually and not overnight. There are some supplemets that can ASSIST you, but not make the weight come off like water. If its worth doing, its going to be tough.
    I dont know who made the comment about having abs, but EVERYONE has abs or else you would fall over. They are your core support. Its the people with less bodyfat % that can see the ab muscles that are there.

    August 5, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Nicole

    I think this "study" is flawed. I was born to a mother who gained very little weight when pregnant with me (back in the day doctors didn't want you gaining more than 10 to 15 pounds when pregnant) and while thin as a child and for most of my adult life the weight has crept into the obese category in recent years. I've had 2 children, one when I was considered thin for my height, gained 35 pounds and gave birth to a 9 pound baby who's a skinny beanpole 12 years later. Fast forward 9 years, was pregnant again but was now overweight, actually lost weight during the pregnancy and had another 9 pound baby, who is also a very healthy weight. By the way with both pregnancies, ate pretty healthy, and probably ate much more food with the first pregnancy than the second, yet my first born child is very thin while my second child is average.

    I think pregnant women should just be smart with their eating, and not eat "empty" calories. If you eat healthy foods and exercise in moderation while pregnant then you are doing the best possible thing for mother and child. Birth weight does not indicate future size, tiny babies end up being huge adults and vice versa.

    August 5, 2010 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mike

    You know, I think only part of it is genetic; I think the environment you are raised in has a lot to do with it as well.

    For instance, my father and his father before him were lean. I am too. I am a 5'7" 130 adult male, all lean muscle mass and bones. I notice when I eat, I will eat just enough to satisfy the hunger, and that is it. And I have to try REALLY hard (as in focus on it) if I want to overeat, because my brain just won't let me do it. As a result, the only way for me to gain weight is if I work out go on a diet of about 3000+ calories a day. At that rate, with working out 5 days a week for at least 1 hour, I will gain 10 lbs of muscle. Sometimes I would even eat fast food 3-4 times a week while doing this, because I would be so hungry after work outs. However, the energy I have to expend preparing meals, buying food, and washing dishes/tools associated with eating like this is usually quite time consuming and takes about 1 hour of additional work out of me a day, and that's with a 40 hour job.

    Now I am currently working out 4-6 times a week, but am not dieting, and my weight is still 130. I also have a six pack.

    The ironic part about this is, the 130 lbs is the weight my body ALWAYS wants to go back to, it is always that number. Now the ideal weight I would like to be at is 140-145, but it is very difficult to maintain that. The ironic part is I have a metabolism most people want, but that is too high for me to like it. Oh well.

    August 5, 2010 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Holly Golightly

    I agree with jen's post earlier. There is a lot of hate for overweight or "fat" people. And don't get me wrong, I am for healthy diet and exercise, a la weight watchers. But it's the overweight hate that drives people (mostly women) to eating disorders, which include overeating, as well as anorexia and bulimia. Who wants to be hated by strangers just because you don't fall into a very narrow arbitrary view of beauty and "normalcy"?!!!

    August 5, 2010 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      Wrong, most current research leans toward eating disorders being a much more personal thing. Not so much "society hates fat people" but a lot more control and self esteem issues that manifest themselves in their diet.

      August 5, 2010 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
  16. Joe B.

    I think many people are making half-hearted attempts to lose weight, or are trying to lose weight without seeking professional help and don't do it right. They fail and blame genetics or American food or American portion size and give up. Some may also be using food to cover up some other problem. But all of these things can be fixed and dealt with. You ultimately control what goes into your mouth. It's not easy, but it's simple.

    My wife had gestational diabetes with the second child. A dietitian put her on a strict diet, and she followed it. She maintained her blood sugar levels (she checked after every meal) without any medication. It wasn't easy, but it was simple. Since she never lost all the weight from the first pregnancy, she only gained 10 pounds during the second pregnancy. She had a healthy 7 pound baby.

    August 5, 2010 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Angryman

    Let me preface this with I'm a man, 5'11", 156lbs, mid 50s. I've been this weight since my 20s. I do it by watching my weight EVERY DAY. Couple of pounds up/couple of pounds down. The more active I am, the more I have to eat to maintain. The less active, the less I have to eat to maintain. If I overeat during the holidays, it may take a couple of days to actually see the impact on the scale. Then guess what?–I've got to cut some calories a few days to get back down. It is not that hard to figure out as has been pointed out a number of times previously. Do I burn as many calories a day as I did in my 20s? Of course not, so I have modified my calorie intake accordingly. Actually, I could lose a couple of pounds since I've lost some muscle mass as I get older.
    Unfortunately, my wife does not follow the same . Her attitude is that it is her god-given right as a woman to gain weight as she gets older. Unfortunately, she decided that 28 was a good time to start. Her addiction to candy, cookies and anything sweet is unrivaled. The bigger she gets, the more she thinks she needs to eat. If I try to say anything, she snaps at me that I should love her regardless of how big she gets, or her new tactic is to lie about what she weighed when we got married. Needless to say, I've been an angry husband for a long time because she knew before we got married that this would be an issue (learned from my previous marriage). Doesn't make for a good marriage, does it? Unfortunately, as demonstrated by a number of comments posted here by overweight women, this acceptance of being overweight results in our wives saying "well, I'm not fat, I'm just average." If I were attracted to overweight women, I would have married one. Now that I am married to an overweight woman, I'm supposed to still find her attractive. BS.

    So single guys, some counsel. Look around at the married guys' wives. How many kept their weight down after they got married? Your chances are pretty slim unless you marry a health/fitness nut. Also, another hint, when you're dating a girl, look in her closet at her clothes sizes. Did you catch her at her dating size 6, but there's a size 14 already lurking in the closet?

    I wasn't always this way. Before it was to each their own. But when our wives use this PC crup to justify getting fat, then it does affect me. Sadly, I can't seem to be able to change and find big=beautiful. Why should I, that is not what my wife married.

    August 5, 2010 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. chubbs

    I had two kids, the girl weighed 8.5 and the boy 9.5. I ate what I wanted and gained 50 with the girl and 60 with the boy. I was also very active as well during my pregnancies. Both my kids, now 16 and 18 or skinny! The boy is 5'6" and weighs 113 and the girl is 5'4" and weighs just under 100 pounds. So much for fat momma, fat kids! My kids do eat healthy and are very active.

    August 5, 2010 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. bom bom pow

    Being overweight sucks. and it is hard to loose the weight. i also agree it is a BIG problem in this country. I have been overweight ever since about 5th grade. And that's when i pretty much started being on some sort of diet. I've always been active. during middle/high school i did volleyball and equestrian. During collage i would exercise about 3 times a week and walk everywhere. i never used my car. Currently i have a personal trainer i see 2 times a week and i do cardio 4 days a week. I try to stay below 1400 calories. but the weight never goes away!! It seems ever since the 5th grade the weight just keeps coming. bah!
    What stinks even more is i am the only overweight person in my family. My mom probably weights 110 soaking wet, my dad is a SEAL (obviously in excellent shap), by brother was a star athlete and went to collage for baseball, same goes with my unlces, cousins, aunts, grandparents. i am the ONLY one who has a weight issue.
    I know what i have to do and i do it. i work out 6 days a week, watch my calorie intake, etc...
    I am terrifed to ever have a child. I dont want to put on weight because i am afraid i would never get it off.
    i am wondering if there could be another reason why i dont lose the weight.?

    August 5, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bom bom pow

      i forgot to say i my mom put on 30 lbs being preggers with me.. i was born weighing 5lbs.. and i am over weight. with my brother my mom put on about 30 lbs and he weighed 7lbs, he isnt overweigh. NOT FAIR!!!!

      August 5, 2010 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
  20. nurserachet

    As someone who was a chubby kid and withstood all the painful comments from peers, I honestly believe that one is born to one size or another. At midlife, I lost 40 lobs, with medications. It lasted til I quit the meds. Yep, metabolism does it. But all these slim people who gasp at the need to loose 8 lbs? They have NO idea of what is needed by people like ME to reach their slim size. I swim every other day and walk every day. I'm in my late 60's, and yes overweight-but I am flexible, have good strenght, and do what I please. So, I consider myself healthy. I wonder if the slim folks are as healthy. It's all in the genes.

    August 5, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Tari Rose

    This whole article is a load of crap and makes me wonder how diligent they are about gathering their statistics. I gained 30 pounds with both my children who weighed 9 lbs and 9 lbs 6 ounces. Big babies run in my family regardless of weight gain during pregnancy. I weighed over 10 lbs at birth from a mother who gained 30 lbs as well. i have never weighed more than 110 lbs my whole life and my kids are thin. The weight gain during pregnancy associated with a persons weight for a lifetime is all just coincidence. Weight gain is 90% lifestyle related. Stop giving people excuses to blame their parents and their genetics. Stop eating so much crap and move a little and you will be fine! Visit my website http://www.tarirose.com for free fitness tips and advice.

    August 5, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. nomoregbldgk

    some people have to be fat just to maintain the gravity constant

    August 5, 2010 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. wkh

    In my experience, if you go to eating a diet based on salad (and by salad I mean green lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, peppers, onions, snow peas, celery, tomatoes, avocados, olives, raisins, sunflower seeds, and some meat/protein of some sort) you lose a ton of weight really fast. You're not going to lose weight eating meals where meat is the main portion or pasta is a big part of your diet or creme sauces and such play a major part. I used to say I ate healthy, but I really didn't. Once I started eating all the salad I could possibly eat (and no I was not hungry though I did battle sugar/carb cravings for few weeks) weight dropped off me at a bordering on alarming rate. And I ate a HUGE amount of salad based on those kind of ingredients every day. And I did not ban carbs, I just relegated them to a much less important factor. My lifetime anemia went away. I kept waiting with happiness to keep losing and weigh in because I just kept feeling better and better and couldn't wait for that flab to fall off. Eating healthy is where it's at and finding out what's healthy for your body type. For me, it's big huge mega salads with tons of vegetables. I can even go out to dinner once or twice a week, have a dessert now and then, and drink a little here and there. Oh and I never did any more exercise than walking my toddler in his stroller about a mile or two each day.

    August 5, 2010 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. big j

    I'm 6'2 300lbs been nig all my life other than grade school no body has ever had the balls to say anything to my face about who cares what society thinks tell em to go F them selves I know i can walk into dang near any bar dark alley or ghetto neighbor hood i want at any time i want and not feel threatend my wife feels safe with me anywhere we go. What i'm sayin is u got to put up with a skinnys stares from time to time but being FAT has its perks it rides well on me and i got no complaints. Also my dad was in great shape and got hit by a suburban on his Harley two years ago you never know when ur gonna go

    August 5, 2010 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A guy with fibromyaliga.

      It is good of you to feel comfortable in your own skin. But big guys should be hitting the gym to take advantage of being a big guy. I'm not saying to lose the weight but to get power lifter strong. I know a couple guys 300 lbs.+ and only one exercised and consequently he is able to box and spar and train, he is a complete tank. where as the other guys his weight can barely walk. Humans vary greatly, but it's easier to be a big strong guy, than it is to be a big obese woman. Being overweight and not exercising is a problem, being fat and exercising and accepting yourself is all one can ask of someone.

      August 5, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
  25. Enlightened

    Bacon is life.

    August 5, 2010 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. A guy with fibromyaliga.

    I worked in a foundry and was lifting weights 12 hours a week. I came down with fibromyalgia. I could not walkfor 2 years. After awhile I got healthy enough to exercise, .Now I lift weights twelve hours a week and i box about 10 hours a week. If i don't exercise i get fat. I also get even more sore. It hurts to exercise with fibromyalgia, but It is still something you do if you want to improve your life same as anyone else. No humans were fat before the age of kings. It is gluttony that first did it. I did get fat at first, because of my self pitying eating choices, and assumption I would be able to recover faster than I did. Get fit, or accept that you got fat from a alack of athletisism and self control. Making excuses just makes you look weak, admitting the truth makes you respectable. Denial is a very undesireable trait that is hard to self recognize. It is your fault your fat if you are the one in charge of what goes in your mouth period. If i get fat again it's my own fault, and bad choices will be to blame. But yeah Fibromyalgia is real, got it at 25. Not just for woman, but many cases of fibromyalgia diagnosis are just for insurance companies forms. As many conditions similiar take years to diagnose. But being fat and completely out of shape feels just like having fibromyalgia. And is the case alot of the time but "obese and not willing to change" is a hard label to give someone who has give up and can't work. Takes the credibilty out of my statement "I have fibromyaliga." so i just tell people I broke my back (which I have, but recovered.) Stop the pity, stop hating "skinny" girls. They just don't over eat. Make your own future brighter by working hard on fitness, not excuses. Good luck to anyone who was motivated by this and please read it again if it offended you.

    August 5, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. AtlantaLady

    Whorhay, 2200 calories a day is A LOT, especialy for the relatively little exercise you are doiing. No wonder you didn't get any smaller. That 2000 a day guideline is bogus and hasn't been relevant for decades. I don't think it's changed since we moved from agriculture to service jobs. I have a desk job and maintain my weight at less than 1200 a day. That's WITH 45 minutes of exercise 6 days a week. If I want to lose a few pounds, I have to eat under 1000 a day and keep exercising. Most people get hooked on that 2000 a day "normal" and refuse to see reality. Unless you are training for the Olympics, you don't need more than 1700 a day.

    August 5, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A guy with fibromyaliga.

      I am a big dude, and I train for hours at a time, and 3000 calories of food and I still burn fat. But I have alot of muscle mass and boxing burns calories big time. 2000 calories at rest is ideal if you are 230lbs. and muscular. But yeah woman need like 1500. Hitler decided that Jews in camps need 900 calories a day to sustain the minimum requrements of life, so 1000 or less is very minimal. But doable a few days in a row.

      August 5, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse |
    • AtlantaLady

      I should clarify that when I eat very light, it's 6 days a week, on Sunday I will get about 1300 calories, but every other day it's under 1000. And I am not "hungry all the time". If you eat enough fiber and protein, hunger pangs will not haunt you and you don't have to consume a lot of calories to get the benefit. And I am not tall and usually weigh under 125.

      August 5, 2010 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
  28. Not thin and should be

    The analysis in this article is ridiculous. They are focusing on the wrong factor here. Though I was not very careful about gaining weight in my first pregnancy and gained 80 lbs, I was incredibly careful the second time and still gained 55 lbs. My relatives were also huge weight gainers in pregnancy. For many of us, our bodies simply put on the pounds in pregnancy, almost regardless of how we eat or exercise. So I'm kind of annoyed that this article suggests that by my pregnancyweight gain, I predisposed my children to being overweight. Rather, it seems that my genetic predisposition to gain weight generally and especially in pregnancy is the genetic legacy I pass on to my children. I am on the high side of normal weight and always have been, despite my regular and vigorous exercise and my attention to my diet. Frankly, I should be thinner–and I certainly should have gained less weight in my pregnancies. The idea that I could have prevented by kids' predisposition to fat by gaining less weight, which seemed to be a mechanism absolutely beyond my control, is infuriating.

    August 5, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. big babies/skinny kids

    Marine Mom is right: correlation does not equal causation. Western society needs to wake up and realize throughout history we were burning calories all day long.... gathering food, processing that food by hand, washing garments by hand, hauling water–sometimes hours daily, toting children all day, regulating their body temperature (no heat and air), gathering firewood, working in the fields and tending the crops and on and on and on. Those ancestors ate minimal calories because that's all they could acquire and they did physical labor all day.

    Now we consider "work" walking across the living room to change the channel because we can't find the remote. We are going to be obese and our children... big baby or small are going to be obese... if we don't change our lifestyle. And it has little to do with willpower. Evolution dealt us a difficult hand when it designed humans to constantly seek food and hang on to it (fat) to avoid starvation. We need to change our mindset and our lifestyles if we don't want to be obese and have obese children.

    August 5, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. LMW

    I am a very healthy 27 year old woman who is 8 months pregnant. I exercise every other day (my doctor actually has had me reduce that amount because I am so far along in my pregnancy) for about an hour with 20-30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine. I do not overindulge except for maybe in the fruit area as my child seems to love both apples and pineapple.
    I have gained 50 pounds during this pregnancy. Yes, 50. That is with both a diet and an exercise routine. According to all of my bloodwork I am a very healthy 36 week pregnant woman. My mother who is also a very healthy 47 year old woman who was a work-out fanatic in her late teens to early 40's gained 60 – 70 pounds with all three of her pregnancies. None of us are obese or have health issues. We three continue to work out every other day (if not every day) and eat very healthily. This report is bogus.
    To quote my doctor when I was stressed about the amount of weight I gained, "We don't want scrawny babies, we want HEALTHY babies." There is an epidemic of underweight (6 lbs or under) babies being born in the U.S. which casues more health problems than children born with a normal weight (7 lbs – 10 lbs). So to all of you mothers out there, just follow these simple rules 1) Cut the sodium and 2) Walk or maintain some level of activity for AT LEAST 30 minutes a day

    August 6, 2010 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Renee

    Heredity does not make someone fat. Parents make kids fat by feeding them the same things that made them fat. No one has to be fat. I choose my size by what I eat. People like to be able to excuse themselves from having to take responsibility for their lives. Lets go to a fat families home and see what they eat, and all physical activiry for a month, then go to an normal sized families home and see what they eat and do for a month. Then you will find the problem. Our medical community enables people to being, fat, depressed, alcoholics, diabetic, addicted etc.. by saying that thye are powerless against it. That is CRAP, you are only powerless against something by choosing to be powerless.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. odubhain

    Putting on weight rapidly was once a survival trait for humans when the food supply was "on again/ off again." Nowadays, humans need to take into account that there is generally enough food available most of the time and either quit eating so much or exercise like crazy to burn up the calories. If you become inactive, you are doomed to putting on weight which will shorten your life and limit the quality of your life as well. There is no magic cure.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Bearcat

    I'm planning on getting pregnant in the next few months so for the last few weeks I've been taking prenatal vitamins and working out for an hour a day for 6 days a week, and making an effort to go out and do something fun with my husband (hike, walk on the beach, explore a new neighborhood) on the 7th day. My weight is distributed fairly evenly over my body so while it doesn't appear that I am overweight, with the amount of calories I was consuming per day and how sedentary my lifestyle was, I was already overweight and on the fast track to obesity. I always told my self, I'll start working out tomorrow...I'll eat less tomorrow. Tomorrow became today, and I would start the day out with good intentions. But then I would see some snacks at work, or some candy and think...well, one won't hurt. I'd have the one snack or candy, then a little later in the day another...then it became...okay, I'll start tomorrow for sure. There was always tomorrow.

    I kept telling myself that when I was younger, I could eat whatever I want and not gain weight. So I had fun and ate whatever I wanted in whatever portions I wanted. I went to restaurants and ordered a dish of my own and a second dish to share with my husband. I'd order combos that were probably as many calories as I should eat in an entire day. I ate snacks and soda at work, went out to dinner frequently and had soda with dinner. I also ate a lot of homemade, healthy foods, but I ate large portions. I probably took in liquids that doubled my calorie intake per day. And all the while I said, hey, I look good, I shouldn't have to lose weight.

    It was the hardest thing in the world to commit to working out and eating healthier and the proper amount of calories for weight loss. I am a foodie and I love trying new restaurants, eating out, and sampling a menu...which means ordering way more than I should eat. My stomach started out large and I constantly felt hungry and felt cravings. I got headaches and felt tired from my body reacting to less carbs and sugar. My body basically threw a fit about not getting its carbs and sugar. But you have to treat it like it's a child...you know what's better for your body than it does. When it throws a fit, you can't give in. The body is built upon a human history of not having enough food to eat; the body loves to store fat for those times when you'll be starving. But many people are not in a position to starve anymore, so in fact you're just packing it all in on yourself.

    Commit to a new lifestyle change, be honest (don't lie to yourself or others about your exercise levels or calorie intake), and do your best. You may not be able to do an entire workout on the first day, but do what you can. Go until you physically cannot go anymore; keep a record of when you stop, and try to improve on it each day. You'll see that the human body is a wonderful thing and it's never too late to build a better you if you are 100% committed.

    August 6, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Bearcat

    Also for those of you who claim to eat the proper daily calories for weight loss and exercise but don't see any weight change, here's a sample of my menu on a typical day.

    Breakfast: 4 egg whites, 1 small piece of bread, 1/4 tbsp butter = 244 calories
    Snack: 1oz almonds (about 24) = 160 calories
    Lunch: Salad with 1 1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing, 4oz lean grilled flank steak = 300 calories
    Snack: 6oz yogurt with about 30 blueberries = 160 calories
    Dinner: 4oz chicken breast grilled or roasted, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup broccoli = 258 calories
    Dessert: up to 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Mango Sorbet = 100 calories

    No eating 3 hours before bedtime. This rule can never be broken. If I elect not to have dessert right after dinner and forget for an hour, I just can't have it that night.

    In total this is 1222 calories. Now, compared to what I was eating before (and I considered my eating really healthy before...because I didn't consider portion size or care what 4oz was or how many calories I was taking in), this seems really slim and definitely not as delicious. But I've definitely noticed that my cravings for carbs and sugar have stopped. I can go into the work snack room and not even think about picking anything up.

    An important thing to note is that no where on this list are any calories from liquids. Calories from liquids are the biggest killers...there's so much hidden sugar and calories in drinks. If you can do anything for yourself, try to avoid any calorie intake from liquids.

    For those of you who claim to work out and get no results or are plateaued, try Power 90 or P90x by Tony Horton. Power 90 requires minimal time commitment during the day (35-53 minutes) and is pretty low impact. I do Power 90 now and plan on doing Power 90x when I finish. It's nice because you alternate between cardio one day and weights the next day, and you work so many muscle groups that you don't get stuck with the plateau effect that you do simply running on a treadmill or using an elliptical.

    August 6, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Bearcat

    Alternatively here was my "healthy" eating before I made the choice to change my eating habits.

    Breakfast: Two packages of Quaker Oatmeal Maple and Brown Sugar = 320 calories
    Lunch: Panini Sandwich on sourdough with pastrami, mayo, mustard and pickles, side of 1 cup of pea soup, 1oz plain lay's potato chips = 980 calories
    Snacks before dinner: Yogurt with fruit 160 calories, snack size cheez it package 210 calories = 370 calories
    Dinner: 7oz Ribeye Steak, Baked potato with 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup broccoli = 787
    Dessert: 1/2 cup sorbet = 100 calories

    Total = 2557 calories

    Being female, 5'6", and spending up to 14 hours a day in a chair in front of a computer...I definitely didn't need 2557 calories. It got me up to 185lbs but I'm steadily turning that fat to muscle and losing the weight.

    August 6, 2010 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Ike Austin

    Last year, after a brief scare with Type-1 diabetes, I conducted extensive research about the rise of the disease amongst our youth. Research shows a direct relationship to diet, low physical activity, and hormone-injected cow's milk and other factors.

    I am an Instructional Designer/Flash Programmer by profession. I created the first series of a children's book called Run Tippy Run to start addressing the diabetes issues suddenly plaguing our children.

    Kids can read this book free online at...www.daystarbooks.com

    Brief Description of Book:
    Help our children draw their future without diabetes.

    The Purpose, Is Prevention: This series of Run Tippy Run – Draw Me Healthy publications, will attempt to introduce a green diet concept to young children. By illustrating a direct link to food and health, we induce kids to question their diet choices & food sources.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Ike Austin

    Last year, after a brief scare with Type-1 diabetes, I conducted extensive research about the rise of the disease amongst our youth. Research shows a direct relationship to diet, low physical activity, and hormone-injected cow's milk and other factors.

    I am an Instructional Designer/Flash Programmer by profession. I created the first series of a children's book called Run Tippy Run to start addressing the diabetes issues suddenly plaguing our children.

    Kids can read this book free online at...www.daystarbooks.com

    August 9, 2010 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Brenda

    I was born a normal weight 7lbs on the nose but my mother fed me every time I cried. If my diaper did not need changing she fed me. As I got older every time I got hurt physically or emotionally there she was with the brownies or cupcakes! By the time I was 6 she put adult size portions on my plate and I ate them so I could get dessert. All my life I had problems with being overweight.when I turned 12 and puberty hit I got tall and things got better. I became a lot more active and was outside a lot more (we had moved to Florida) I was still probably 15 lbs overweight but much better then I was.
    When I got older the old problems came back Eating when I was down And I was down a lot the cycle is hard to break.
    I am tryng very hard to break the cycle because as someone very close to me says "You can blame you parents for how you turned out, but you can only blame yourself if you stay that way!"

    August 11, 2010 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. bigmama67

    I am an obese woman. I have lost 51 lbs in 2010, but still have miles to go. I only gained 17 lbs while pregnant, and I gave birth to a 10 lb, 11 oz baby girl. She is now 12, and weighs 115 lbs. I suppose there are always exceptions.

    December 30, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.