In Europid populations, low birth weight of offspring predicts insulin resistance in the mother and cardiovascular disease in both parents. We investigated the association between birth weight of offspring and obesity and cardiovascular risk in the parents of 477 8-year-old children born at the King Edward Memorial Hospital, Pune, India. <br/>Eight years after the birth of the child, mothers (33 years of age, n = 459) of heavier babies were taller and more obese (BMI, fat mass, and waist circumference, all P < 0.001) than mothers of lighter babies. Increasing offspring birth weight predicted higher homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (P < 0.01) and metabolic syndrome in mothers (P < 0.001) (adjusted for offspring sex and birth order, maternal age, and socioeconomic status) but not hyperglycemia. Fathers (39 years of age, n = 398) of heavier babies were taller and heavier, independent of maternal size (P < 0.01, both), but were not more insulin resistant. <br/>Unlike other reports, lower offspring birth weight did not predict insulin resistance in fathers. Thus, urban Indian parents have a higher risk of being obese 8 years after delivery of a heavier child. Mothers but not fathers of heavier babies also have a higher risk of being insulin resistant and developing the metabolic syndrome. Our findings highlight the need for a better understanding of the relation between fetal growth and future health before contemplating public health interventions to improve fetal growth
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