URBANA, Ill., May 24 (UPI) -- Food insecurity -- inability to buy enough food -- increases the risk of weight gain complications during pregnancy, U.S. researchers says.
The University of Illinois researchers explain women living in food insecure households have already been shown to be more likely to have health complications, but this study specifically looked at the effect of food insecurity on pregnant women.
"We looked at the effect of food insecurity on a variety of health factors related to pregnancy," study co-author Craig Gundersen says in a statement. "We found that food insecurity is associated with a higher body mass index, greater weight gain during pregnancy and a higher risk for the development of gestational diabetes."
Gunderson says these health issues are a concern because they may result in a number of future negative medical conditions for both the mother and child.
The research team surveyed 810 low- and middle-income pregnant women from January 2001 to June 2005 -- both at the beginning of their pregnancy and after the birth of their child.