Body Weight and Infant Survival

Infant survival is correlated with birth weight, and birth weight is correlated with the prepregnancy weight of the mother and, independently, her weight gain during pregnancy. From a teleologic and evolutionary view, it is economical to hypothesize that the physical ability to deliver a viable infant and the hypothalamic control of reproduction are synchronized. Adipose tissue may be the synchronizer.

Table 1 Total body water as percentage of body weight: an index of fatnessa




Height (cm)

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