Overweight Baby Infants Risk for Diabetes

by Mark Benson on April 2, 2012

Difference between boys and girls

According to a recent study, when female babies were born overweight have an increased risk to develop cardiovascular disease and diabetes when they reach adulthood. These findings were discovered after reviewing about a thousand seventeen year olds in Australia.

The study followed the health and development of these individuals since they were born. The objectives of the study were to determine if their birth weight and body fat distribution in early childhood would have any effect with health risk factors like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

This is especially important for those suffering from gestational diabetes, as one of the effects on the baby would be macrosomia or having high birth weight. Having this condition also creates a lot of issues that affect both the mother and the infant child.

It found that the teen girls that have larger waist circumference, increased levels of insulin and presence of triglycerides and with lower levels of HDL cholesterol were born heavier compared to other girls. This observation though was not present with teen males who were born heavy.

The full report on the study would be published in June for the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

According to study lead author Dr. Rae-Chi Huang of the University of Western Australia, “What happens to a baby in the womb affects future heart disease and diabetes risk when the child grows up.”

The head of the study further added, “We found that female babies are particularly prone to this increased risk and females who are at high risk of obesity and diabetes-related conditions at age 17 are showing increased obesity as early as twelve months of age.”

The study is important, as there is a continued increase in obesity rates and incidences of gestational diabetes in pregnant women from Western countries. This then affects the rise of the numbers of overweight female babies.

“Our results can be applied to public health messages targeting both maternal health and measures in early infancy regarding the prevention of childhood and its consequences,” Dr. Huang said.

While the study found that there was an association between early obesity and the increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, there was no proof found that this is a cause and effect relationship.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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