Not every time, but often, you’ll see obese couples and their kids are either obese or on the threshold of obesity. While adults have the power and the life experience to understand the health issues associated with obesity, their children – depending on their age- are reliant on on their parents making healthy choices for them.
Is generational obesity inherited or a case of families making poor choices where food and exercise are concerned – or both?
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine wondered if children born to obese moms might be predisposed to being obese due to their womb environment.
The team of scientists analyzed stem cells taken from the umbilical cords of babies born to normal weight and obese mothers. In the lab, they coaxed these stem cells to develop into muscle and fat. The resulting cells from obese mothers had 30% more fat than those from normal weight mothers, suggesting that these babies’ cells were more likely to accumulate fat.
No cause and effect was established, but the scientists noted that further research was needed. “The next step is to follow these offspring to see if there is a lasting change into adulthood,” says the lead presenter, Kristen Boyle, in a statement.
She and her colleagues are already studying the cells to see whether they use and store energy any differently from those obtained from normal-weight mothers, and whether those changes result in metabolic differences such as inflammation or insulin resistance, which can precede heart disease and diabetes.
Other studies have found a high correlation between parents’ Body Mass Index (BMI) numbers and their children ‘s BMI, particularly between mothers and their kids. Further, the BMI of grandmother’s and their grandchildren is also high.
What is a healthy weight gain for a pregnant woman? It depends on how much you weigh before getting pregnant.
The guidelines for pregnancy weight gain are issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM); most recently in May 2009. Here are the most current recommendations:
• If your pre-pregnancy weight was in the healthy range for your height (a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9), you should gain between 25 and 35 pounds, gaining 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester and about 1 pound per week for the rest of your pregnancy for the optimal growth of your baby.
• If you were underweight or your height at conception (a BMI below 18.5), you should gain 28 to 40 pounds.
• If you were overweight for your height (a BMI of 25 to 29.9), you should gain 15 to 25 pounds. If you were obese (a BMI of 30 or higher), you should gain between 11 and 20 pounds.
• If you're having twins, you should gain 37 to 54 pounds if you started at a healthy weight, 31 to 50 pounds if you were overweight, and 25 to 42 pounds if you were obese.
These recent findings point out again, how important it is for pregnant women to consider the possible long - term health affects on their unborn offspring when making decisions about their own health.
The report was presented in May to the American Diabetes Association.
Sources: Alice Park, http://time.com/3906135/obese-moms-wire-kids-obesity-during-pregnancy/