Childbearing is not associated with young women's long-term obesity risk.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Contemporary childbearing is associated with greater gestational weight gain and postpartum weight retention than in previous decades, potentially leading to a more pronounced effect of childbearing on women's long-term obesity risk. Previous work on the association of childbearing with women's long-term obesity risk mostly examined births in the 1970s and 1980s and produced mixed results. The association of childbearing and obesity incidence in a diverse, contemporary sample of 2731 US women was estimated. METHODS: Propensity-score (PS) matching was used for confounding control when estimating the effect of incident parity (1996-2001) on 7-year incident obesity (BMI≥30 kg/m(2) ) (2001-2008). RESULTS: In the sample, 19.3% of parous women became obese, whereas 16.1% of unmatched nulliparous women did. After PS matching without and with replacement, the differences in obesity incidence were, respectively, 0.0 percentage points (ppts) (95% CI: -4.7 to 4.7) and 0.9 ppts (95% CI: -4.9 to 6.7). Results were similar in analyses of prevalent parity and obesity in 2008 (n = 6601) conducted to explore possible selection bias. CONCLUSIONS: These results imply that, in contemporary US parous women in their late 20s and early 30s, childbearing may not increase obesity incidence.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Robinson, WR; Cheng, MM; Hoggatt, KJ; Stürmer, T; Siega-Riz, AM

Published Date

  • April 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1126 - 1132

PubMed ID

  • 23929637

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3869892

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1930-739X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/oby.20593


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States