'Easy' Baby, Fat Kid: The Gestational Diabetes Link


Babies who are easiest to soothe between 2 and 6 months of age are at double the risk of developing early childhood obesity, suggests a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

While researchers didn’t identify the reason soothability might contribute to obesity risk, they did find that easily calmed babies, and those who are more active, are typically breastfed for a shorter duration and introduced to fruit juice earlier than babies who are fussier or less active.

Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, surveyed 392 moms, who all had gestational diabetes, asking them to assess their infant’s temperament at age 2 to 6 months. The original object of the study was the possible link between temperament and childhood obesity risk in babies born to mothers with diabetes that develops in pregnancy. These babies are more likely to be overweight as 2- to 5-year-olds than those whose mothers didn’t develop gestational diabetes, but the role of the babies’ temperament — if there is one — hadn’t been clear.