Babies in the womb to be administered with anti-obesity drug

Monday, May 23, 2011 by: Fleur Hupston
Tags: diabetes drugs, pregnancy, health news

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(NaturalNews) A diet drug while still in the womb? A UK trial will soon be under way whereby a commonly used diabetes pill will be administered to obese pregnant women up to three times a day in an attempt to prevent overweight mothers from delivering obese babies.

Obese women who become pregnant are generally at risk of complications such as pre-eclampsia (potentially fatal), fetal death, possible birth defects and a greater number of caesarean deliveries. According to the CDC, "Children born to obese mothers are twice as likely to be obese and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Obesity during pregnancy is also associated with greater use of health care services and a longer hospital stay".

Given the disturbing trend of increasing obesity among women in many developed countries, the answer is, apparently, to counter this by medicating babies while still in the womb.

The trial will involve 100 obese but non-diabetic volunteers at hospitals in Liverpool and Coventry, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. The object of the trial is to prevent the birth of oversized babies and to reduce the need for caesarean deliveries.

Half will take the drug Metformin after the first trimester of their pregnancies and the other half will take a placebo.

The mothers' health and that of their babies will be monitored with results released in approximately 3 years: the goal being that the drug could be prescribed to obese mothers-to-be soon thereafter.

Diabetic drug side effects include diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, heartburn, flu symptoms, muscle pain and a potentially life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis if hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) develops while taking this type of medication.

Many weight loss groups and others feel that this news is most disturbing and gives the message that there is a solution to conditions such as obesity, which involve simply taking a pill as a "cure". The emphasis, they feel, should be on encouraging mothers-to-be to lose excess weight before even considering bringing a child into the world.

Studies have consistently shown that lifestyle modification that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and weight management can prevent the many and various conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, gestational diabetes mellitus, and so on.

The ethics of medicating babies while in the womb, or the possible long-term effects of administering drugs of this nature, are also reasons for concern.


About the author

Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.

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