Overweight baby girls more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease

Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Scientists in Australia have claimed that overweight baby girls are at a greater risk of later developing diabetes or heart disease due to problems with their metabolism.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, involved over a thousand 17-year-old girls, showing that those with the biggest waists as well as problems with their metabolism tended to be heavier from birth and have consistently higher body mass index (BMI) levels.

The research, carried out at the University of Western Australia, monitored the participants at eight separate times during their life, taking data on their weight, BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Female babies were shown to be especially likely to face a greater risk and that those with a high risk of obesity and diabetes-related conditions at the age of 17 were shown to have increased obesity by the time they were 12 months of age. The weight of a boy baby was found to have no impact on their risk of later metabolic problems.

Researcher Rae-Chi Huang commented "What happens to a baby in the womb affects future heart disease and diabetes risk when the child grows up."

He added "These findings are significant because in our modern western society, we are seeing increased maternal obesity and gestational diabetes, which means there will also be a rise in female newborns that are born large for their age."
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