Research Article

Influence of maternal obesity on subcutaneous fat in the newborn.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 24 April 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:985
  1. A G Whitelaw


    Skinfold thickness measurements were made at biceps, triceps, subscapular, and suprailiac sites on both sides on 265 full-term newborn infants. The mothers were classified as thin (25), normal (179), or obese (61) on the basis of their triceps skinfold thicknesses. At all skinfold sites the babies of the obese mothers were significantly fatter than the babies of normal mothers, and the babies of the normal mothers were significantly fatter than those of the thin mothers. There was a highly significant positive correlation between maternal triceps thickness and the baby's sum of skinfold thicknesses. Hypertension was common during the pregnancies of the obese mothers and was associated with a significant reduction in the babies' skinfold thicknesses. When each of the 61 obese mothers were matched for parity, blood pressure, and smoking habit with 61 non-obese mothers the babies of the obese mothers still had significantly greater skinfold thicknesses than the babies of non-obese mothers.