CitationRobinson, Whitney R.; Cheng, Mariah Mantsun; Hoggatt, Katherine J.; Stürmer, Til; & Siega-Riz, Anna Maria (2014). Childbearing Is Not Associated with Young Women's Long-Term Obesity Risk. Obesity, 22(4), 1126-1132. PMCID: PMC3869892
AbstractContemporary childbearing is associated with greater gestational weight gain and post-partum 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.
OBJECTIVE: We estimated the association of childbearing and obesity incidence in a diverse, contemporary sample of 2,731 U.S. women.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Propensity-score (PS) matching was used for confounding control when estimating the effect of incident parity (1996 to 2001) on 7-year incident obesity (BMI>/=30 kg/m2 ) (2001 to 2008).
RESULTS: In the sample, 19.3% of parous women became obese while 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 U.S. parous women in their late 20s and early 30s, childbearing may not increase obesity incidence.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Author(s)Robinson, Whitney R.
Cheng, Mariah Mantsun
Hoggatt, Katherine J.
Siega-Riz, Anna Maria