A Healthy Life Starts Now
By the end of the decade, 1 in 5 kids will be obese. Adopt healthy eating and exercise habits during pregnancy and you'll create a better future for you and your growing family.
Congratulations! You're pregnant. You now have the greatest motivation ever to lead a healthy lifestyle. And here's the best news: With just minor modifications (and a dash of incentive), the healthy habits you adopt today can help keep you and your family from joining the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight or obese. Starting now is essential. Gaining more weight during pregnancy than the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences recommends (which 38 percent of women do) makes you six times more likely to be obese when your baby turns 1, according to a recent study led by Christine Olson, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
With fewer baby-fat pounds to lose after you deliver, you're more likely to maintain a normal body mass index (BMI) in young adulthood and middle age, translating to a much lower risk of heart disease and diabetes later on. Meanwhile, babies born to moms who gain within the recommended range are more likely to be at a healthy birth weight, an indicator of overall good health, Olson says. Plus, establishing good habits now will make it easier to be a positive role model as your child grows.
Here, experts weigh in (no pun intended!) on how to use your pregnancy as a step toward a fitter future for you and your family.
Make A Better Life