Mother's BMI linked to fatter babies
Babies of mothers with a higher pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) are fatter and have more fat in their liver, a study published in September's issue of the journal Pediatric Research has found. The researchers from Imperial College London say that the effect of a mother's BMI on her child's development in the womb might put them on a trajectory towards lifelong metabolic health problems.
The research team used magnetic resonance scanning to assess 105 babies born at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The babies were scanned while they were asleep to measure the amount of fat in their liver cells, the total amount of fat in their bodies and its distribution. They found that liver cell fat in the babies and total fat, particularly around the abdomen, increased across the entire range of BMI in their mothers.
Children of overweight and obese mothers are already known to have a higher risk of being overweight and obese themselves, and of experiencing associated metabolic health problems such as type-2 diabetes. The authors of this new study suggest that the changes they found in babies' bodies might be signs of the first biological changes which, combined with an unhealthy lifestyle, might put babies of overweight mothers on a path to ill health in later life.
Professor Neena Modi, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London and a Consultant Neonatologist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, who led the study, said: "This study demonstrates that a woman's BMI, even in the normal range, affects the amount of fat in her baby at birth. Fatter women have fatter babies and there is more fat in the babies livers. If these effects persist through childhood and beyond, they could put the child at risk of lifelong metabolic health problems.
"There is growing evidence that a baby's development before birth has a major impact on their health in later life. This means that the prevention of obesity needs to begin in the womb.
"Today about half of all women of childbearing age in the UK are overweight or obese. Importantly, the link between maternal BMI and amount of fat in the baby spreads across the entire range of BMI, meaning it's not just an issue for overweight and obese mums. We need to identify what the optimal BMI for the mother is so we can help women ensure that their bodies are in the best possible condition before they get pregnant."
Body mass index is calculated by dividing one's weight in kilograms by the square of their height in metres. The World Health Organisation classes a BMI between 18.5 and 25 as normal weight, between 25 and 30 as overweight and over 30 as obese. Of the 105 mothers in the study, five were underweight, 69 were normal weight, 23 were overweight and eight were obese.
The researchers used proton magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy to measure total adipose tissue and its distribution and intrahepatocellular lipid (the amount of fat inside liver cells). In adults, high levels of both correlate strongly with impaired control of blood sugar.
More information: N. Modi et al. 'The influence of maternal body mass index on infant adiposity and hepatic lipid content.' Pediatric Research, Volume 70 Issue 3, September 2011.
Provided by Imperial College London
- Many women add too many pounds during pregnancy May 28, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Hormonal Contraceptives Have Mixed Success Among Overweight Women Jul 09, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Fat mum hastens path to childhood obesity Sep 13, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Obesity during pregnancy linked to increased risk of babies born with abnormalities Feb 11, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Scientists discover why a mother's high-fat diet contributes to obesity in her children Sep 30, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with o ...
Health 54 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected an amendment allowing states to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 1
(AP)—McDonald's once again faced criticism that it's a purveyor of junk food that markets to children at its annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Can economic incentives such as gift cards, T-shirts, and time off from work motivate members of the public to increase their donations of blood?
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Family caregivers of older adults with dementia are less stressed and their moods are improved on days when dementia patients receive adult day services (ADS), according to Penn State researchers.
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
41 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of ...
15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
International efforts to combat a new pneumonia-like virus that has now killed 22 people are being slowed by unclear rules and competition for the potentially profitable rights to disease samples, the head ...
16 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Breast cancer characterized as "triple negative" carries a poor prognosis, with limited treatment options. In some cases, chemotherapy doesn't kill the cancer cells the way it's supposed to. New research from Western University ...
52 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Mayo Clinic researchers have used next generation genomic analysis to determine that some of the more aggressive prostate cancer tumors have similar genetic origins, which may help in predicting cancer progression. The findings ...
55 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—A shortage of a critical tuberculosis drug has hampered the efforts of health departments across the United States to contain the spread of the highly infectious lung disease, federal officials ...
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0