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Prevalence and Trends in Prepregnancy Normal Weight — 48 States, New York City, and District of Columbia, 2011–2015
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Women who enter pregnancy at a weight above or below normal weight, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9 (calculated as weight in kg/height in m|), are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes and to have infants who experience adverse health outcomes. For example, prepregnancy underweight (BMI <18.5) increases the risk for small-for-gestational-age births, whereas prepregnancy overweight (BMI 25.0-29.9) and obesity (BMI ≥30.0) increase risks for cesarean delivery, large-for-gestational-age births, and childhood obesity (1). Given these outcomes, Healthy People 2020 includes an objective to increase the proportion of women entering pregnancy with a normal weight from 52.5% in 2007 to 57.8% by 2020.* Because recent trends in prepregnancy normal weight have not been reported, CDC examined 2011-2015 National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) natality data, which included prepregnancy BMI. In 2015, for 48 states, the District of Columbia (DC), and New York City (NYC) combined, the prevalence of prepregnancy normal weight was 45.0%; prevalence ranged from 37.7% in Mississippi to 52.2% in DC. Among 38 jurisdictions with prepregnancy BMI data during 2011-2015, normal weight prevalence declined from 47.3% to 45.1%; declines were observed in all jurisdictions but were statistically significant for 27 jurisdictions after standardizing to the 2011 national maternal age and race/ethnicity distribution. Screening women's BMI during routine clinical care provides opportunities to promote normal weight before entering pregnancy.
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