By avoiding TV watching and trans fats, and by walking, new mothers can get rid of the extra pounds they gained during the pregnancy, showed a new study lead by Emily Oken of Harvard Medical School.
Some women don’t lose all the weight gained during pregnancy after the baby is born, especially weight accumulated around the abdomen. This type of weight gain may be risky for women’s health.
More than 900 women were asked to participate in this study. Researchers attempted to find out which behaviors were associated with gaining weight after pregnancy. Six months after the women’s childbirths, they reported how much time they have been physically active and have spent watching TV, and filled out a diet questionnaire.
One year later the average weight was still 2.2 pounds more than before the participants’ pregnancy, and twelve percent of them retained at least eleven pounds.
Researchers found that one extra hour of watching TV each day means for women a twenty-four percent higher risk of retaining eleven extra pounds. Every hour women walk daily lowered by thirty-three percent the risk of keeping the extra eleven pounds following birth.
Women who watched TV less than two hours daily, consumed less trans fat and walked more than thirty minutes a day have a seventy-seven percent better chances to lose those eleven pounds or more of weight gained during pregnancy.
Women in their childbearing years have a higher risk of weight gain from eating trans fats, according to Dr. Emily Oken.
Reducing TV watching is also good for the babies, said Oken. “Turning off the TV is good for the mom's weight, but also probably good modeling for the kid. "
"There are things that women can do that don't seem to me to be particularly onerous to avoid retaining a lot of weight after pregnancy, " said Oken.
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