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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Childhood Weight Problems Linked to Obesity Before Pregnancy

overweight in kidsRecent study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University (OSU) College of Nursing and School of Public Health and supported by National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), one of National Institutes of Health (NIH), shows that childhood weight problems linked to mom's obesity before pregnancy.
A mother's weight within one to two months before she became pregnant had the greatest impact on a child's weight at all three age intervals.

If a woman was overweight before she became pregnant, her child was nearly three times more likely to be overweight by age 7 compared with a child whose mother was not overweight or obese, according to the study.

The risk that a child would be overweight at a young age increased with the degree of the mother's obesity.
The research also shows several factors that may put a child at higher obesity risk:
  • Race and ethnicity
    More black and Hispanic children were overweight than white children
  • Maternal smoking during pregnancy
    Smoking during pregnancy is suspected as the key of risk that increases the chances of overweight in children
  • Age of the mother when giving birth
    Breast feeding (only play small role in this case)
"A child who is overweight by her second birthday is more likely to be overweight at a later age," said Dr. Salsberry. "Prevention of childhood obesity needs to begin before a woman becomes pregnant," she added.
Pamela Salsberry, Ph.D., is the lead author and associate professor at OSU.

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