Half of U.S. Women Weigh Too Much Before Getting Pregnant

Pregnant Women - Health Council

“More women are starting their pregnancies heavier than ever before, U.S. health officials report. In fact, in 2014, more than 50 percent of women were either overweight or obese at prepregnancy, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. “This is the first report to focus on prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and unfortunately, it doesn’t look so great,” said lead researcher Amy Branum. She’s a statistician with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

All states, with the exception of Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, were included in the report, giving the biggest picture to date of what prepregnancy BMI looks like in the nation, she said. Body mass index is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Increased prepregnancy overweight and obesity contribute to the obesity epidemic in the United States, Branum said.”It does seem to jibe with what we see among all women in the U.S. population,” she added.

The report, released Aug. 5, found that in 2014 nearly 4 percent of women were underweight before becoming pregnant. About 46 percent of women started their pregnancies at a normal weight. But slightly more than one-quarter were overweight, and almost another quarter were obese, the report found.”

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