Excess Gestational Weight Gain Common in Military Health Beneficiaries

Those with excessive gestational weight gain more likely to have substantial postpartum weight retention
Excess Gestational Weight Gain Common in Military Health Beneficiaries
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TUESDAY, May 7, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Military health beneficiaries, especially active-duty personnel, more often have excessive gestational weight gain (GWG), according to a study published in the May issue of Obesity.

Rebecca A. Krukowski, Ph.D., from the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues obtained data for 48,391 TRICARE beneficiaries who gave birth in the United States in 2018 or 2019 to examine the prevalence of overweight/obesity and excessive GWG among military beneficiaries.

The researchers found that 75 percent of TRICARE beneficiaries had excessive GWG; 42 percent had substantial postpartum weight retention (PPWR). The likelihood of having excessive GWG was lower for dependents than active-duty women (odds ratio, 0.73). The odds of having substantial PPWR were threefold higher for women with excessive GWG (odds ratio, 3.57). Women with excessive GWG were more likely to have maternal/neonatal complications, including pregnancy-induced hypertension and cesarean delivery.

"These results emphasize the importance of weight management before, during, and after pregnancy for military populations, given the high health care costs of weight-related health complications affecting the mother and baby as well as the importance of maintaining fitness in the active-duty population," Krukowski said in a statement.

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