Obesity during pregnancy has been linked with lower vitamin D levels in both mother and child, says a new study published in PLOS ONE. Furthermore, these babies have a greater risk of childhood obesity.
Obesity has turned into an epidemic. Its effects are tremendous and far-reaching. Obesity among pregnant women has also been on the rise. This does not come without detrimental consequences either.
Recently, researchers have discovered that pregnant women are likely to have lower vitamin D levels, a problem that also extends to the newborn.
The effects go further. Another association that has been revealed in the study relates to the weight of the babies: obesity in pregnancy is correlated with heavier infants which then makes the latter more prone to developing childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The results still need to be supported by more research, points out study author, Jami Josefson from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Before that, they cannot as yet recommend overweight pregnant women to take more vitamin D supplements.
Dr Josefson is, however, positive that childhood obesity can be curbed if relevant prenatal characteristics are identified. For instance, previous research conducted by Dr Josefson indicates that “excessive weight gain in the first trimester of pregnancy” is a risk factor for having heavier babies.
She also adds that these studies will assist them in designing and testing targeted interventions to cater for the health of pregnant women and babies.