Obesity begins in the womb



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The mother's lifestyle shapes the child in the womb

The mother's lifestyle already shapes the unborn child in the mother's belly. Accordingly, the predisposition to overweight is already shaped in the womb before the birth of the child. This is the result of a study by the researchers at the Charité University Clinic in Berlin. The study results were published in the international science magazine "Plos One".

Birth weight increases risk of overweight
The result showed that children with a birth weight of over 4000 grams are more likely to suffer from obesity later in life than children who were born with a lower weight. "The risk is about twice as high," the researchers write in their report. If newborns weighed less than 2500 grams, a significantly reduced risk of later overweight was also determined. The normal weight group was between 2500 and 4000 grams as a reference category.

According to the study director Prof. Andreas Plagemann from the Department of Obstetrics at the Charité, the results show that the "lifelong risk of being overweight is essentially influenced by the lifestyle of the expectant mother". Thus, the course of pregnancy is a "decisive factor in the health of the child throughout his life".

Significantly overnutrition socially and health economically
Obesity and obesity are among the biggest health problems on earth. Industrialized countries like Germany are particularly affected. All sections of the population and income are affected by obesity. Around half of all adults in Germany are overweight. About 15 to 20 percent of children and adolescents are also affected. Many problems of a medical, sociopolitical and health economic nature follow from this problem. Severe diseases such as heart attack, cancer, stroke, diabetes and complaints such as back pain, but also psychological problems are the consequences of being overweight. "The new findings show that prevention of being overweight is possible for the entire later life even before birth," said Professor Plagemann.

Meta study from 66 studies
An excessive intake of unhealthy food, a resulting overstroke, lack of exercise and metabolic diseases such as diabetes during the course of pregnancy in many cases lead to an increased birth weight. In order to derive a context between the weight of the child and the later risk of becoming overweight, the team led by Prof. Plagemann evaluated and analyzed 66 research papers that were carried out on this topic worldwide. The data of over 640,000 test persons of female and male sex in all age groups up to 75 years from 26 countries and five continents could be evaluated in the meta-study. Mothers can minimize the risk if they avoid overeating. "The prevention of overeating and gestational diabetes would be a promising strategy to act globally preventive, according to the researchers. (Sb)

Read on:
Breast cancer risk increases when overweight
Antibiotics in infancy increase the risk of being overweight
Being overweight can promote cancer

Image: Dieter Schütz / pixelio.de

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