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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2012, Article ID 920583, 8 pages
Research Article

Maternal Recreational Exercise during Pregnancy in relation to Children’s BMI at 7 Years of Age

1Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Øster Søgade 18,1, 1357 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2Department of Public Health, Copenhagen University, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark
3Section of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Received 7 October 2011; Revised 20 January 2012; Accepted 26 January 2012

Academic Editor: Tessa J. Roseboom

Copyright © 2012 Camilla Schou Andersen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Exposures during fetal life may have long-term health consequences including risk of childhood overweight. We investigated the associations between maternal recreational exercise during early and late pregnancy and the children’s body mass index (BMI) and risk of overweight at 7 years. Data on 40,280 mother-child pairs from the Danish National Birth Cohort was used. Self-reported information about exercise was obtained from telephone interviews around gestational weeks 16 and 30. Children’s weight and height were reported in a 7-year follow-up and used to calculate BMI and overweight status. Data was analyzed using multiple linear and logistic regression models. Recreational exercise across pregnancy was inversely related to children’s BMI and risk of overweight, but all associations were mainly explained by smoking habits, socioeconomic status, and maternal pre-pregnancy BMI. Additionally, we did not find exercise intensity or changes in exercise habits in pregnancy related to the children’s BMI or risk of overweight.