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Gaining That Extra Weight Now Will Make Your Child Obese As Well

Obesity During Pregnancy Leads to Obese Children

Being pregnant is a great excuse for indulging in your favourite foods, but that weight gain has shown a significant link to the obesity of children under the age of 12. The chocolate might be delicious and you may be craving the triple brownie chocolate cheesecake ice cream day in and day out, perhaps with an iced cappuccino to top it off, but the more an expecting mother gains, the more harm caused to the unborn child.

Few consider the fact that a mother’s eating habits affect the lives of their children, particularly during pregnancy. The use of drugs of any sort are prohibited for that very reason, but harder to wrap one’s head around the fact that any habit will transfer onto the child. Craving constant sweets and enjoying daily ice cream sandwiches will produce a babe with a rather intricate sweet tooth. Absolutely adore those chili peppers? Your child is more likely to enjoy the suicide level of Thai food.

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A study at Princeton University looking at 41,133 mothers and their children brought about this conclusion. Where the link between the parents and child had already been observed previously, this novel approach at looking at things included comparing birth records of mothers with the BMI records of schoolchildren around the age of 12, while also comparing the BMI between siblings. The inclusion of the second part is to remove any genetic confounding variables, narrowing the field to simply a mother’s weight link to a child’s.

The results? Excessive weight gain during pregnancy means higher birth weight of an infant, affecting the child’s BMI throughout childhood. “Excessive weight gain during pregnancy could be contributing to the obesity epidemic,” said Janet Currie, Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Policy Affairs and director of the Center for Health and Wellbeing in the Woodrow Wilson School. “Children whose mothers gained too much weight during pregnancy—that is 40 lbs. or more—had an 8 percent increased risk of obesity.”

On the other hand, researchers are optimistic about it also becoming a cornerstone for prevention programs targeting the obese women. A mother is usually worried about her child’s health, hoping to give it the best life she can. Ensuring regular exercise and proper eating habits in order to keep a healthier weight while carrying the fetus becomes all the more important. Too few women get enough exercise during pregnancy as it is.

Obese children caused by weight gain during pregnancy are not the only things to worry about: