Increased Risk for Overweight Children if Mom Smoked during Pregnancy

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(Best Syndication News) - Risk factors for children becoming overweight were assessed in a new study. The researchers found that children born to women who smoked during pregnancy had a higher risk of becoming overweight. In addition, children that were at a higher birth weight and had rapid weight gain during the first year of life were also at an increased risk for becoming overweight during childhood.

The study results were published in the online edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

To determine risk factors for overweight children, the researchers analyzed data from reliable sources, such as MedLine and PubMed. They used information gathered between 1990 and 2011 which involved tracking the child’s health from birth through a minimum of two years of age. They also looked at data that could pinpoint risk factors during pregnancy and up to the age of 12 months. The analysis involved looking at 30 different studies with a combined total of 200,000 participants.

The researchers found that there were several significant and independent risk factors for overweight children. The women who smoked during pregnancy had a 47.5 percent increased risk for having an overweight child. The report suggests that the people who smoke tended to have other characteristics that might cause weight gain.

If the child was breastfed, they had a 15 percent reduced risk for being overweight in childhood. However, mixed results of the breastfeeding length were found, but generally the weaning was later than sooner.

Other factors such as household income, marital status, time of birth, and how many other pregnancies the mother had, showed mixed results for the researchers.

There were no associated risk factors for the mother’s age, education level, ethnicity, and depression. Women who were overweight during childhood were not associated with an increased risk for their children becoming overweight.

There were inconclusive results for the delivery method. There was no conclusive associated risk factor for women who gained weight during pregnancy or who lost weight after childbirth. They also point out that the child being a fussy eater was also an inconclusive risk factor.

The researchers suggest that more investigations would be needed to clarify the risk factors for overweight children. By better understanding these risk factors, doctors could identify an infant at risk for being overweight early on.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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