Pregnancy pounds linked to obesity

Piling on pounds during pregnancy can lead to overweight children and might be contributing to rising obesity rates, research suggests.

A study involving more than 40,000 women and their 91,000 children confirms the link between weight gain in pregnancy and childhood.

For each kilogramme of weight gained by its mother during pregnancy, a child's body mass index (BMI) at age 12 increased by 0.02 kg/m2, the study found.

The research, published in the Public Library of Science Medicine, was conducted in Arkansas, where it is compulsory for all state school children to have their weight and height measured every other year.