Improving health before pregnancy could prevent childhood obesity

2 February 2015

Improving the health of expectant mothers could be key when it comes to reducing the levels of childhood obesity, a new study has suggested.

Researchers at the University of Southampton's Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit examined five 'risk factors'.

The study supports growing evidence that a child's early environment before and soon after birth is associated with whether they are obese later in life. Earlier research had identified a number of 'risk factors' but this latest study is the first to suggest that having a high number of them can act as a strong predictor of being overweight or obese in childhood. 

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the research focused on five early life obesity risk factors: a short duration of breastfeeding (less than one month) and four maternal factors during pregnancy - obesity, excess pregnancy weight gain, smoking, and low vitamin D status.

The team found that children with four or five of these risk factors were 3.99 times more likely to be overweight or obese at the age of four, with a 19 per cent higher fat mass than children who had experienced no risk factors.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Weight loss surgery

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)