Teen Pregnancy Boosts Girls’ Risk of Getting Fat

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Teen Pregnancy Boosts Girls’ Risk of Getting Fat

Finally, in our last story, teenage pregnancy is a bad idea for young and unmarried women for a number of reasons.

Now, a new study shows that teenage girls who get pregnant become obese more often than their peers who don’t get pregnant.

Writing in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Erica Gunderson of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and her colleagues report that bearing a child may boost body weight and fat accumulation in adolescents.

The researchers examined data from a decade-long national study of a group of nine-year-old girls. By the time they had reached age 19, 31 percent of the girls had been pregnant at some point, and of those, 28 percent of the white women and 49 percent of the black women were overweight or obese.

Among those who had given birth in their teens, 40 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks were overweight or obese. And all of the women who had children during their teens were heavier and had more body fat than those who did not get pregnant.

Gunderson speculates that fat buildup during adolescence may trigger obesity along with higher insulin, lipid and blood pressure levels, and cities the need for further research on the subject of obesity in teenage mothers.

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