Washington: A new study has revealed that teenage pregnancy actually makes women more likely to become obese.

University of Michigan Health System researchers found that women who give birth as teens are significantly more likely to be overweight or obese later in life than women who were not teen mums .

"When taking care of teen moms, we often have so many immediate concerns - child care, housing, school, social and financial support - that we don't often think of the long term health effects of teen pregnancy," lead author Tammy Chang, M.D., MPH, MS, a clinical lecturer in the department of family medicine at the U-M Medical School and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, said.

"For the first time, we've identified our youngest moms as a high risk group for obesity, which we know to be one of the most debilitating, long-term health issues we face," Chang said.

The study was based on data from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a national study designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States.

After controlling for factors such as race, education, and socio-economic indicators, researchers found that women who had first given birth between the ages 13-19 had a 32 percent higher risk of obesity than women who had given birth at age 20 or later.

The findings also showed that a significantly fewer number of women with a teen birth were normal weight compared to women without a teen birth.

The study appears in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


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