Mothers’ Gestational Diabetes Predicts Childhood Obesity

Women with Gestational DiabetesA study in Diabetes Care unveiled that treating women to normalize blood sugar, who develop diabetes during pregnancy, intensely lessens the risks of their infant turning obese in puerility,

The study, chaired by Dr. Teresa Hillier of Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore, revealed that babies born to mothers with untreated gestational diabetes double the risk of becoming overweight by age five to seven. The higher the mother’s blood sugar levels, the greater the child's possibility of getting obese.

That risk vanished, but, when women with diabetes adopted a special diet routine, worked out or were given insulin. As a matter of fact, their babies had almost the similar risk of turning obese as those whose mothers had average blood glucose level.

Gestational diabetes starts in pregnancy and typically vanishes after the birth to a child. The mother’s advanced blood sugar can cause the foetus to grow too large, sometimes requiring caesarean delivery.

Around 3.5 per cent of non-Aboriginal women in Canada get gestational diabetes, and up to 18 per cent of Aboriginal women will develop it.

Whether a mother's high blood sugar can cause childhood obesity has never been clear up.

Hillier and fellow workers studied the medical histories for 9,439 U.S. mothers who delivered between 1995 and 2000 and were tested for diabetes. Their kids were then weighed between ages 5 and 7.

Of the kids whose mothers had ordinary blood sugar levels, 24 per cent were overweight and 12 per cent were obese. In case, whose mothers had untreated high blood glucose, 35 per cent of the kids were overweight and 20 per cent were obese. In children whose mothers had their diabetes treated, 28 per cent of the children were overweight and 17 per cent were obese.

They computed that kids from the untreated highest levels were 89 per cent more expected to be overweight and 82 per cent more likely to be obese as compared to children whose mothers had normal levels.

Hiller said, “The key finding here is that the risk of overweight and obese children rises in step with higher levels of blood sugar during pregnancy. The good news for pregnant women is that by treating gestational diabetes, your children's risk of becoming overweight or obese drops considerably.”

“My advice to pregnant women is three-fold: Discuss gestational diabetes screening with your doctor, usually between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy; if you have gestational diabetes, work with your physician to treat it, and stick with the treatment during your pregnancy. It's the best thing you can do to reduce your child's risk of obesity,” she added.