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Obesity During Pregnancy Might Expose Baby to Type-2 Diabetes, Study Claims

by | June 25, 2019

A recent study has found that obesity during pregnancy might increase the likelihood of babies to be affected with type-2 diabetes in the later stages of their life. The risk is reportedly three times more as opposed to mothers with a healthy BMI. Keep reading to know more.

Obesity During Pregnancy Might Expose Baby to Type-2 Diabetes, Study Finds
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Obesity During Pregnancy Might Expose Baby to Type-2 Diabetes, Study Finds

As a part of their research, a team studied more than 100,000 people in the Aberdeen area, born between 1950 and 2011. The data was thereafter linked with health archives of the national register for diagnosed diabetes in Scotland.

The Aberdeen Study, that was carried out by the University of Edinburgh researchers found that one-quarter of women in the 60-years timeframe were overweight during pregnancy. With Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 40, one in ten women were categorized as obese. The research also found variations in the range of obesity during the time-frame. For instance, the proportion of obese mums hiked five-fold to one in six during 2000-2011, in contrast to one in thirty during the 1950s, according to BBC.

Speaking about the babies, it was found that children were ‘more likely’ to develop any of the two diabetes types in their lifetimes, with the risk of type-2 being greater. Not only obesity in children, but maternal obesity also contributed to the risk of cardiovascular ailments and early death in offspring, the study notes.

It must be noted that the BMI of the children was not calculated nor other lifestyle factors that are known to potentially cause type-2 diabetes were accounted for. Instead, the study stated that the shared lifestyle between the mother and the baby could add to the cause, the BBC reports.

“Urgent Need to Find Ways”

Speaking about the possible link between obesity during pregnancy and the risk of type 2 diabetes to the baby, Prof Rebecca Reynolds, of the Tommy’s Centre for Maternal and Fetal Health at the University of Edinburgh, stated that the findings call for an “urgent need to find ways” to help women plan their pregnancies by optimizing health, including “reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.” She also said there is a need for “wider awareness of the importance of health before conception” and “supportive and accessible” programs to aid women with higher BMI to reach a healthy status prior to pregnancy and maintain the same throughout, the BBC reports.

Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. The chronic condition is associated with obesity and family history. The disease is caused when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to it as they should, giving rise to imbalanced blood sugar levels.

Read our coverage on “Vegan Diet Can Reduce Depression And Diabetes Symptoms? A Study Confirms.”

Home remedies to control diabetes could include consuming veggies like bitter gourd, fenugreek leaves, and working out for weight management. Regular screening is also important alongside consulting a doctor to ensure diabetes is under check.

What do you think about the possible link between obesity during pregnancy and the risk of type 2 diabetes to the baby, as suggested by the research? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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