Health Canada

Health Canada

November 19, 2009 16:34 ET

Health Canada Announces Revised Weight Gain Guidelines for Pregnant Women

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 19, 2009) - Health Canada is replacing the current Canadian weight gain guidelines for pregnant women with the latest recommendations from the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM). The decision to adopt the IOM's recommendations was made by Health Canada in consultation with an external Expert Advisory Group.

These are the IOM recommendations that Health Canada is adopting:

1) align with the World Health Organization (WHO) definitions for underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese;

2) include a suggested rate of weight gain in addition to recommendations for total weight gain; and

3) have a specific recommendation for a lower amount of weight gain for obese women.

For more information on Health Canada's revised weight gain guidelines (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/prenatal/index-eng.php) for pregnant women, please visit the Health Canada website.

Research shows that many Canadian women gain more than Health Canada's recommended weight gain during pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy weight before pregnancy and an adequate weight gain during pregnancy helps minimize health risks for the mother and baby.

The revision of the guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy is part of Health Canada's work related to prenatal nutrition. Prenatal Nutrition Guidelines published by Health Canada are used widely by health professionals in providing advice and guidance to pregnant women in Canada.

To support the implementation of the updated guidelines, Health Canada is developing a background document, a quick reference tool and a weight gain tracker for health professionals. Health Canada encourages all stakeholders to provide feedback on drafts of these materials by January 8, 2010 through an online consultation (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consultation/init/_matern-weight-poids2009/index-eng.php).

An interactive web-based tool that will assist women in tracking their weight gain during pregnancy is also being developed.

The final materials for health professionals and pregnant women will be available in spring 2010.

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