People who are always dieting will put on more weight when they’re pregnant

We never seem to escape the clutches of dieting, especially the yo-yoing kind where the body has a habit of fighting back to regain lost weight.

Dieting even affects the weight you gain in oregnancy. Women who have a history of dieting are more likely to gain ­excessive weight while expecting.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina in the US questioned 1,200 women about their dieting history, weight and weight gain during ­pregnancy.

Recommendations for normal weight gain during pregnancy vary depending on a woman’s size.

In America, an underweight woman is encouraged to gain two stone to two stone 12lb. Normal-weight women should gain between one stone 11lb and two stone 7lb.


It turns out most women with a history of dieting are more likely to gain too much weight, regardless of their pre-pregnancy weight. The exception is women who are underweight before pregnancy.

Underweight women who had a history of dieting didn’t gain enough weight, compared to naturally underweight women who did.

Obesity is becoming a greater and greater problem in the UK, and ­particularly for pregnant women. Study co-author Anna Maria Siega-Riz’s advice could help them.

She says it’s ­important for women with a history of unhealthy eating behaviours to be given counselling and extra support to help them achieve a healthy weight during pregnancy.


We now know that obese women many complications when they’re ­pregnant, and so do their babies. Excess weight gain increases the risk for caesarean sections, having a large baby, shorter duration of breast-feeding and a more difficult time losing weight after the baby’s delivery.

The babies of obese mums also face a risk of being premature and underweight, giving them a poor start in life.

Some studies suggest excess weight gain during ­pregnancy can also affect the lifelong health of both mother and baby. An obese mother may bequeath high blood pressure, heart ­problems and diabetes as they grow up.

And children of obese mothers are also more likely to be overweight at age seven years because obesity starts in the womb.

A mother’s weight influences the ­environment of her baby in the womb that can have long-term ­consequences.

For mothers, big weight gain during pregnancy may also cause changes in the breasts that increase susceptibility to breast cancer in later life.

It’s not a good scenario.