Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Item metadata
Title: Body composition helps: differences in energy expenditure between pregnant and nonpregnant females
Authors: Prado-Nóvoa, Olalla
Rodríguez, Jesús
Martín García, Adrián
Mateos Cachorro, Ana
Issue Date: Aug-2021
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: American Journal of Human Biology, 2021, 33 (4), e23518
Abstract: Objectives: Human pregnancy is associated with important physiological changes that usually increase energetic requirements. However, great variability exists in the costs and mechanisms required to bear pregnancy. Since body mass (BM) and composition are modified during gestation, it is of great interest to compare the influence of BM on energy expenditure (EE) in pregnant and nonpregnant females. Methods: BM, body composition, and EE of 77 volunteers (35 pregnant and 42 nonpregnant females) were measured. The pregnant volunteers completed two measurement rounds at 28 and 32 gestation weeks. Differences on the measured parameters were sought, and comparison of regression lines was computed to test how BM affected the EE of the volunteers. Results: BM and body composition parameters are significantly higher in pregnant females, but EE is not statistically different. Pregnant females have a larger percentage of fat mass, but lower percentage of fat-free mass (FFM). The EE per kg of FFM is similar in both groups. Comparison of regression lines shows that pregnancy does not change the relationship between BM and EE, but for similar BM pregnant females expend less energy than nonpregnant females. Conclusions: We propose that their larger percentage of passive body tissues is the reason why pregnant females expend less energy than nonpregnant females of similar BM, without changing the scaling of EE on BM. Thus, pregnancy could not be as energetically constraining as usually assumed, with important consequences for human reproductive ecology.
ISSN: 1042-0533
DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.23518
Editor version:
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.