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May 12 2016

Obesity in Children Linked to Gestational Obesity, Study Says

Published by at 6:04 pm under Obesity

obese-mothers-and-child-obesityThe United States has a large obese population. The country’s obesity problem includes the young population. Statistics shows that 33.4 percent of children age 2 to 19 years old are classified as obese. Despite efforts to curtail obesity in the last two decades, the government achieve little progress. While there are medications that can be prescribed to treat obesity, it is still better to prevent its occurrence. This is one of the reasons why researchers continue to find answers to this childhood obesity epidemic.

A recent study about childhood obesity and its possible cause was published by Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research. The study found out that mothers who gained excess weight and have had high blood glucose during pregnancy are 30% more likely to have their babies become obese, regardless if the newborns were born at normal weight.

The Study Samples

Lead researcher, Dr. Teresa Hillier, analyzed the medical records of more than 24,000 mothers and monitored the weight of their children until they reach the age of ten. All are Kaiser Permanente members in Washington, Hawaii, and Oregon. The mothers were regularly screened to check if they have gestational diabetes and their weight were closely monitored during the pregnancy period.

Meanwhile, the study followed a total of 13,037 babies who had normal weight when they were born. Babies born between 1995 and 2003 were the ones included. The weight of the babies were closely monitored by using BMI.

Likelihood of Children Becoming Obese

Pregnant mothers with higher blood sugar levels were found to have children with higher obesity risk. There were also pregnant mothers who actually had gestational diabetes and had the highest levels of blood sugar. Their children were found to be at least 30% more likely to be overweight. This is compared to children whose pregnant mothers have had normal blood sugar levels.

Another factor that the researchers have taken into account is the mother’s pregnancy weight. The Institute of Medicine highly recommends that pregnant women should not gain more than 40 pounds during pregnancy. In the sample, those who reached or surpassed that 40-pound benchmark have children who are at least 15 percent at higher risk of obesity and being overweight. Therefore, keeping the pregnancy weight gain lower than 40 pounds could have possibly prevented childhood obesity.

Hillier concluded that the abnormal sugar level and too much weight gain might have contributed to metabolic imprinting or obesity imprinting on babies.

Warning for Mothers-To-Be

This new study might help health care providers to prevent more cases of obesity in children and help reduce the percentage of obesity in the country. The most important finding is mothers can do something to prevent their children from becoming obese right from the start of their pregnancy journey. The findings should be enough to warn overweight mothers to watch their diet and keep a healthy weight. Their blood sugar and weight should be checked regularly.

Taking a Preventive Approach

If you are also pregnant, do not starve yourself. It’s ideal to eat foods that will benefit your and your baby’s health. If you are trying to get pregnant, consider taking weight loss supplements to reduce your excess weight. There are different types of weight loss products that you can choose from, such as fat burners and appetite suppressant pills. Having a normal body weight will reduce your chances of becoming obese during pregnancy. This will also reduce your baby’s tendency to become obese when grow up.

Always consult your health care provider to ensure that you’re doing things right before, during, and after pregnancy.

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