News article

Weighty issues: Like mother, like daughter!

Posted:  Friday, October 31, 2014

Daughters may just not inherit features and other qualities from their mothers, they could inherit a tendency to be obese or overweight too. A recent study found that women who developed gestational diabetes and were overweight before pregnancy were at a higher risk of having daughters who would be obese later in childhood.

Published in the Diabetes Care journal, the results of the study were based on a long-term research involving a multiethnic cohort of 421 girls and their mothers belonging to Kaiser Permanente, Northern California. Pregnant women who were a part of this system underwent glucose tolerance test during gestational weeks 24 to 28.

The girls were part of the Cohort study of Young Girls' Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET), a National Institutes of Health-funded consortium examining early determinants of puberty. They were followed from 2005 to 2011, with annual clinic visits to measure each girl's height, weight, body fat, abdominal obesity, and other parameters.

The researchers found that 27 mothers reported gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). They found if the mother had GDM, the girl’s risk of having a body mass index at or above the 85th percentile was 3.5 times higher than that of girls whose mothers did not have GDM. This association was independent of other factors that could influence the girl’s weight gain such as race/ethnicity, maternal obesity, and the girl's pubertal stage.

Additionally, the researchers found that if a girl's mother was also overweight and had GDM, then her risk of being overweight was about 5.5 times higher. Similar associations were observed for a girl's increased body fat and likelihood of having abdominal obesity.

Talking about the study, the lead researcher Ai Kubo said, “This research builds on our long-term study of pubertal development in girls, which has been underway since the girls were between 6 and 8 years old.” He adds, “Glucose levels during pregnancy, particularly gestational diabetes, were associated with the girls being overweight, and this association was much stronger if the mother was also overweight before pregnancy.”

The researchers advise behaviour and lifestyle modifications in pregnant women to protect their progeny from being on the wrong side of the weighing scale. This just goes to confirm that obesity is an intergenerational cycle, a contributing factor being maternal nutrition.

The study link:- Click Here!

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