Heart Disease and Diabetes Threatens Fat Baby

The dangers of obesity in children continues to be studied. In a recent study revealed obesity at an early age increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes in the future, especially among girls.

In the study, researchers included more than 1,000 volunteers from Australia aged 17 years, which followed from birth. The goal is to examine whether birth weight and body fat distribution in early childhood is associated with risk factors for future health such as obesity, insulin resistance and high blood pressure.

The findings showed that babies of women who are obese tend to have larger waist circumference, high levels of insulin and triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood), and the levels of good cholesterol "HDL" low.

Interestingly, birth weight and body fat distribution in early childhood does not seem too influential in men.

"What happened to the baby while in the womb can affect the risk of heart disease and diabetes as a child growing up," said lead researcher Dr. Rae-Chi Huang of the University of Western Australia, Perth, in a news release.

"We found that female infants are particularly vulnerable to this risk. Women at high risk of obesity and diabetes at the age of 17 years are those who already are obese since the age of 12 months," said Huang.

Huang said the findings are important because there is an increase in rates of obesity and gestational diabetes in pregnant women in Western countries. This means there will be increase in the number of babies born to women with obesity.

"Our findings may be a message to the community, especially for pregnant mothers in order to perform the preventive measures of obesity in their children at an early stage (during pregnancy) and know the consequences," said Huang.

Although studies suggest a link between obesity at an early age and increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, but this does not prove causality.

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