Kids' Health: Childhood Obesity Associated With Mother's Gestational Diabetes

By Elizabeth Anderson, Parent Herald August 17, 05:30 am

Increased risk for childhood obesity at ages 9 to 11 has been associated with gestational diabetes, according to the results of a new research based on global information. The research was based from data collected in The International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment which featured over 7,000 children across 12 countries, 4,000 of whom had complete records available.

There were 363 children from the United States. Other children came from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, India, Kenya, Portugal, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Gestational diabetes had a prevalence of 4.3 percent among the mothers of the children, while childhood obesity had a prevalence of 12.3 percent, as per a report published in Science Daily.

According to a report published in the Endocrinology Advisor, the data showed that 9.9 percent of the children had central obesity, while 8.1 percent had high body fat. Children of mothers who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes were found to have a 53 percent greater risk for obesity, 73 percent greater risk for central obesity and 42 percent greater risk for high body fat.

Zee News quoted research author Dr. Gang Hu as saying that the increased risk of diabetes in children from their exposure to it in their mother's womb has yet to be fully explained. However, Hu said that an unborn child's exposure to the mother's diabetes has been linked to excess fetal growth while still in the mother's womb.

"Our study is the first to evaluate the association between gestational diabetes and childhood obesity using such widespread, multinational data," said the authors of the research. The authors said that the link between the two is not fully independent of the mother's BMI. The research was published in the journal Diabetologia of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

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