The study, published in the January edition of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, also found that women also experience a larger weight gain after having their first baby.
The work, by researchers from the UQ Schools of Population Health and Human Movement Studies was highlighted in the New York Times on Monday.
Professor Wendy Brown, Professor Annette Dobson and Richard Hockey co-authored the study.
As part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s health, the researchers surveyed more than 6000 Australian women over a 10 year period to assess the factors associated with weight gain in young women.
Women with a baby and partner gained the most weight, followed by those with a partner and no baby. Women without a partner or children still gained weight, but at a lower rate.
Professor Dobson and co-authors suggest that the weight gain among all women may be explained by changing social and behavioural factors.
“This is a general health concern as obesity rates continue to increase,” said Professor Dobson.
“Getting married or moving in with a partner and having a baby are events that trigger even further weight gain. We must look at ways to prevent health risks by focusing on the times when women need to be especially careful.”
The article from the New York Times, can be read at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/05/health/05weight.html?ref=todayspaper
The paper can be accessed from here.
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Professor Annette Dobson
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Jeann Wong (Communications)