Child Obesity Is Linked to Mom’s Pregnancy Weight

"pregnancy"

With the amount of generalized sensitivity affecting our country, it’s become more and more difficult to talk about certain matters. But certain matters need to be addressed without everybody going ballistic. The problem is that certain people get offended too easily. Instead of focusing on perceiving insults, they should focus on the subject matter.

Obesity is one of the most commonly referred to issues in our country, and there are few subjects which manage to raise as much controversy. But the facts are the facts. From a medical point of view, being obese just isn’t healthy. It’s not offensive, it’s just bad for you. And not just for you.

According to a new study published in the journal of Maternal and Child Health, child obesity is linked to mom’s pregnancy weight. So, if the mother is excessively obese during her pregnancy, the chances that the infant will also become obese into childhood will grow exponentially.

Previous studies have shown that weight, as well as blood sugar, affect a newborn’s health, and that higher levels of either increase the chances of having a heavier baby. But this is the first study that actually ties any of the two factors to the weight of children born with a normal weight.

According to one of the researchers involved in the study, Dr. Teresa Hillier from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, the reasons behind the event are still unclear, but the results speak for themselves:

What we think is happening is the baby is adapting to an overfed environment, either because of high glucose or excess weight gain. Metabolic imprinting, or obesity imprinting, is what we’re talking about. We don’t really understand why it’s happening but we know it’s happening.

[…]Mothers have an opportunity, based on our findings, to work with their providers to intervene during pregnancy and lower the risk factor for obesity early. It gives babies a potentially fair metabolic start, to have a normal metabolism.

For the study, the team of researchers looked at the medical records of 24,141members of the Kaiser Permanente managed health system in Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. These consisted of mothers and their children with normal birth weight, and were followed from 1995 to 2003.

It turns out that gestational diabetes increased the chances that a child will be overweight by the time they’re ten by thirty percent, while excess weight during the pregnancy raised them by fifteen percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recommended amount of weight to gain during pregnancy for women is somewhere around 40 pounds, while the recommended weight for obese or overweight women is of 20 to 25 pounds.

Image source: Pixabay

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