Save Your Baby from a Life of Obesity with These Tips

Pregnancy

Did you know that even although you may be of normal weight before pregnancy, that if you gain too much weight during pregnancy you are increasing the chances that your baby will become an obese teen and adult? Here are some tips on how to prevent your baby from a life of obesity and discover how much weight gain is recommended during a pregnancy.

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Researchers recently reported in a new study published in the journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, that after following approximately 2,200 obese women during their pregnancy, they found that implementing some simple interventions during pregnancy can prevent high birth weight in newborns and potentially lower an infant’s risk of becoming obese later in life as a teen and as an adult.

This news is in light of earlier studies that showed that pregnant mothers who gain too much weight during their pregnancy tend to have newborns with a high amount of body fat - regardless of the mother's weight before pregnancy.

This study is part of the EC-funded EarlyNutrition Project that focuses on investigating programming effects for health in later life. According to their website, the term “programming effects” refers to the finding that nutrition and lifestyle during pregnancy and infancy can affect a range of different bodily functions. These programmed changes in the body increase the likelihood of becoming overweight and the occurrence of associated diseases in later life.

In the study of 2,200 mothers, one-half were provided with obesity prevention help that consisted of changing their eating habits by eating more fruits and vegetables while at the same time eating less food that consisted of refined carbohydrates, sugars and saturated fats. They were also advised to increase their current activity levels by taking up walking and other forms of light exercise. The other half of the mothers followed in the study did not receive similar counseling and weight loss aid, but did receive normal prenatal care.

What the researchers found was that utilizing even these relatively simple interventions as provided to the aforementioned women in the study, that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and lowering saturated fats and processed carbohydrates with some exercise, resulted in statistically significant changes.

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In a statement provided in a news release from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (LMU), Professor Jodie Dodd from the University of Adelaide, Australia summarizes the results by stating: "Infants born to women who received lifestyle advice were 18% less likely to have a high birth weight compared to infants born to women who received standard care.”

Ideal Wight Gain During Pregnancy

So then, more fruits and vegetables, less sugar and fat, and more exercise―but how much weight should a woman gain during her pregnancy? According to current health recommendations, women at a healthy weight before pregnancy can gain 25 to 35 pounds while expecting a single baby; overweight women can gain 15 to 25 pounds; and obese women between 11 and 20 pounds.

For another informative article about protecting your unborn child’s health, discover why having a cat in your home could be literally killing your family.

Image Source: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Reference: News release by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen― “Simple lifestyle interventions during pregnancy can prevent your children from becoming obese.”

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