Obese pregnant women need to control calorie intake, maintain active lifestyle

March 12th, 2008 - 3:07 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Mar 12 (ANI): Overweight pregnant women need to control their calorie intake and maintain a physically active lifestyle in order to fight hypertension and diabetes, says an expert.

Dr Raul Artal, an internationally recognized obesity expert and chairman of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and womens health at Saint Louis University, said there is a need to revise the present recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy provided by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1990.

In an editorial he said that the recommendations encourage obese women to gain at least 15 pounds during pregnancy and specify no upper limit for weight gain.

Pregnancy has become over the years a state of indulgence and confinement, he said.

Pregnancy is an ideal time for behaviour modification that includes physical activity and with proper medical supervision it can be safely prescribed, he added.

He also said that the IOM guidelines primarily focused on preventing low birth-weight deliveries, which generally occur when women who are underweight and of normal weight dont gain enough weight during pregnancy.

Obese women should not be precluded from engaging in physical activities. Obese pregnant women who engage in physical activities during their pregnancies reduce their risk of developing gestational diabetes by 50 percent, he added.

It is necessary for them to limit the amount of weight they gain during pregnancy by eating only enough to provide adequate calories and nourishment for their growing babies.

He insisted that overweight pregnant women should to exercise and change their eating habits that would trickle-down the effect on the health of the entire family as everyone is likely to eat healthier.

The editorial appears in the March issue of Expert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology, an international medical journal. (ANI)

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