A study finds that women, who were overweight before pregnancy, and developed gestational diabetes, were more likely to have children who became obese.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, when a woman’s body cannot make enough insulin. This results in sugar staying in the blood stream and causing high blood sugars.

The study, conducted betwee, 2005-2011 at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, United States, was based on long-term research of 421 multi-ethnic girls and their mothers.
The girls had annual clinic visits during this time to measure height, weight and other parameters, while pregnant women in the Kaiser Permanente system took glucose tolerance tests during the gestational weeks of 24-28.
The study found that 27 mothers in the study had gestational diabetes. It was calculated that gestational diabetes increased the risk of children having a higher body mass index (BMI) by 3.5 times compared to those whose mothers did not have the condition.
If a mother was also overweight, the risk of their child being overweight was 5.5 times higher than of mothers who did not have gestational diabetes.
Preventing gestational diabetes
This study is the first to directly link maternal high blood glucose levels to overweight offspring, but this is something that can be avoided.
The researchers concluded that reducing weight gain and improving lifestyle could help reduce the risk of obesity in a woman’s offspring.
“Once obesity happens, it’s really hard and expensive to reverse. Working with mothers during and before pregnancy to make lifestyle improvements could have long-term benefits for their children as well,” said Ai Kubo, an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division.

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