New Study Finds ‘Eating for Two’ is Outdated Advice

Most of us believe that once we have kids we give up our pre-pregnancy body shape and resign ourselves to being heavier than before we had kids. But a new study out of the University of Canberra has challenged this, and found that pregnancy doesn’t necessarily cause long term weight gain.

The longitudinal study tracked 8000 women over fifteen years and separated the sample into two groups: women that became mothers and those that did not. The study found that the women that had babies did not experience a greater gain in weight over the 15 years of the study, compared to the group that did not have babies.

The study reaffirms the notion that ‘eating for two’ is outdated advice and women only need to increase their daily calorie intake by 300 calories a day. This equates to around one cup of yogurt  with fruit, or half a bagel. One of the lead researchers, Professor Deborah Davis, said that “women really should concentrate not on the volume of food, but really on eating good food — really nutrient rich.”

Across the duration of the study most women gained some weight but there was little difference between the two groups. Other factors were examined and there was found to be a link between increased weight gain and being in paid employment. The amount of money earned had no bearing on the results, the link was directly related to unemployment.

It was also found that there was a link between depression and weight gain, although it was not clear whether one caused the other. Having a university education and doing regular exercise were found to reduce the risk of long term weight gain.

You can read more about how to eat well in pregnancy here.

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