News: Can mothers pass obesity onto their babies?

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News: Can mothers pass obesity onto their babies?

When you’re pregnant, there are hundreds of questions to ask your doctor, from whether or not your baby will be a boy or a girl, to whether they'll be happy and healthy.

A new study sheds light on another concern: Can obesity actually be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy?

Thanks to the obesity epidemic, more women are overweight or obese before and during pregnancy. The result? Their babies “tend to have higher birth weights and more body fat, and carry an increased risk of obesity and chronic diseases later in life,” the study’s authors wrote.

What contributes to obesity during and after pregnancy?

An article recently published in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, identified factors such as maternal diet and gestational weight gain during pregnancy.

It also suggests that postnatal diet, activity level and family lifestyle determine long-term health risks for the infant.

The study’s authors suggest the solution is “targeted nutritional advice to women, especially those that are obese, to improve nutrition and health status before, during or after pregnancy.”

What do you think? Given the magnitude of the obesity epidemic, what’s the best way to prevent these health issues in infants?

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

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