Pregnancy: A Risk Factor for Social Inequalities in Overweight and Obesity?

Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, McGill University
Emilie Renahy, McGill University

We aimed to: 1. Estimate the average time to return to pre-pregnancy and “healthy” BMI (18.5-24.9) post-pregnancy. 2. Identify socioeconomic and ethnic characteristics placing women at risk of not returning to a healthy and/or their pre-pregnancy BMI. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 for 1890 parous women, we find that 68.6% of women returned to their pre-pregnancy BMI after 1.9 years on average. Similarly, 81.2% reached a healthy BMI after 1.7 years on average. However, given that 18.8% of women who returned to their pre-pregnancy BMI were overweight or obese, this suggests that the high proportion of women reaching a “healthy” BMI post-partum is due in part to underweight women transitioning into this “healthy” category. Moreover, higher proportions of women returned to their pre-pregnancy BMI among Whites (70.0%) than Blacks (62.1%) or Hispanics (57.4%) and among those whose mothers’ had higher education.

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Presented in Poster Session 7