Does Mom's Weight During Pregnancy Affect Childhood Obesity?
While being overweight or obese during pregnancy increases the likelihood of having a baby that's heavier than average at birth, there isn't enough evidence to determine whether a mother's body mass index (BMI) affects her child's weight in childhood and adolescence, according to a new study.
Childhood obesity, which currently affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents in the U.S., causes a number of immediate and long-term health risks. Children and teens who are overweight or obese are at increased risk heat disease, diabetes, bone and joint problems, and sleep apnea.
If maternal BMI during pregnancy impacted childhood obesity risk, measures to control weight before and during pregnancy could reduce the risk. However, this new study suggests that genetic factors, rather than the mother's weight during pregnancy play a role in determining a child's weight.
Image Credit: Thinkstock