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Being born to an overweight mother increases your chances of having type 2 diabetes

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Posted June 23, 2019

The quality of your life depends on many factors, including your upbringing. Your parents do their best to teach you well, but some choices they make themselves are not the best. Also, some genes you get from them also push you to a wrong direction. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh found that babies born to mothers who were obese during pregnancy are three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

There are many health risks, associated to being born to an overweight mother, including heart disease, behavioural problems, early death and type 2 diabetes. Image credit: Ness Kerson/madNESS via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Creating a family is hard – no one can argue with that. There is a lot of responsibility as well as new challenges involved in having a baby. But people rarely think that they are supposed to prepare physically as well. Children born to overweight women are more likely to develop heart diseases, behavioural issues and even suffer an early death. Now scientists can add type 2 diabetes to the list. Researchers say that this knowledge should be wide-spread to inform moms-to-be about the necessity of making better health choices before becoming pregnant.

Researchers analyzed birth records from more than 100,000 people born between 1950 and 2011. Then they matched these results with the local national register for diagnosed diabetes. They found that over the 60 year period one quarter of women were overweight during pregnancy and one in ten were obese. By the way, the proportion of obese mothers is dramatically increasing. In 1950’s one in 30 mothers was obese, in 2000’s – one in six. Scientists found that children born to obese mothers were more likely to develop either type of diabetes in their lifetime, but the risk of type 2 diabetes is higher.

Scientists say that shared lifestyles is one possibility why there are those health risks to children born to overweight mothers. Another version is that being overweight causes an adverse environment in the womb, where high levels of sugar and insulin trigger metabolic processes in the fetus that lead to diabetes. Either way, these findings require some changes in guidelines and possibly even interventions.

Jane Brewin, one of the authors of the study, said: “We need wider awareness of the importance of health before conception as well as supportive and accessible programmes that help women who have a high BMI to lose weight before pregnancy and manage their weight during pregnancy”.

People need to be more responsible, especially for their families. Both men and women should take better care of themselves when starting a family. They should eat better, exercise more, read more books and improve their behaviour. It is worth it if you want to gift a better life to your children.

 

Source: University of Edinburgh

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