According to a new study by the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, babies in Australia weigh more now than before, increasing the risks of type 2 diabetes later in life. A research team analysed over a million births in New South Wales.
High birth rates are associated with a greater risk of cancer, asthma and diabetes in later life. The researchers pointed to a higher rate of gestational diabetes being partly responsible for the higher birthweights, although these factors do not account fully for the change.
The research was published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Michael Permezel of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists reportedly commented:
“It really is a community obesity thing and related to activity during pregnancy and diet during pregnancy. It is absolutely not necessarily the bigger the better. Obviously, if the smallness is due to the placenta not working properly, that is not terribly good, but being too big can be harmful as well.”

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