Study Reveals Smoking During Pregnancy Can Lead To Childhood Obesity

By Hasan Tariq, Parent Herald November 13, 06:22 am
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Since December 23, 2000 new graphic health warning labels are beginning to appear on cigarette packages in Canada.
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Most women feel inclined towards smoking during pregnancy. Whatever the reasons may be, a study claims that smoking during pregnancy and lack of sleep may potentially result in a newborn who later on can be obese.

Women who smoke during pregnancy could be putting their children at greater risk of being fat as teenagers, warn researchers. They fear that smoking leads to subtle structural variations in the growing brain of the unborn baby that create a preference for eating fatty foods.

Smoking, however, has been more stressed to be the major factor that risks an upcoming baby to be overweight. The logic behind this is that when the fetus experiences any sort of tobacco exposure, it affects the motor coordination of the baby, which could be a possible consequence of BMI growth.

Don't confuse an overweight newborn to be healthy because that's not always the case. If there are certain factors such as smoking involved in the equation, an obese child can also have symptoms of poor mental health that are capable of translating itself in the child's adolescence and even adulthood. According to Hindustan Times, poor social and psychological well-being of an obese child can manifest in low self-esteem, unhappiness and involvement in risky behaviors like consuming alcohol or getting high on drugs.

"This study shows that disrupted routines, exemplified by irregular sleeping patterns and skipping breakfast, could influence weight gain through increased appetite and the consumption of energy-dense foods," said Yvonne Kelly, Professor at the University College London, according to Indian Express.

The study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, identified four patterns of weight development. 83.3 percent of children had a stable non-overweight BMI, while 13.1 percent had moderately increasing BMIs. The smallest group, 0.6 percent, had BMIs in the obese range at the age of three but were similar to the stable group by the age of seven.

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