Originally published March 3 2008
Obesity Linked to Increased Health Risks and Birth Defects
by Lynn Berry
(NaturalNews) Obesity rates are increasing in Australia with over half of Australian adults overweight (Australian Bureau of Statistics). More disturbing are studies finding that overweight women giving birth are more likely to have children that become overweight as well. This is in addition to increased health risks to both mother and baby.
Research based on over 14,000 pregnant women found that increasing BMI (body mass index) corresponded to an increase in longer terms in hospitals, and an increase in gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, chronic hypertension, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (http://www.ama.com.au/web.nsf/doc/WEEN-6KY6Z...) .
Babies born to mothers with increasing BMI faced higher rates of birth defects, respiratory distress syndrome, hypoglycemia, prematurity and had higher rates of admission to intensive care nurseries.
This obesity increase is leading to an increase in the cost of health care.
Other serious concerns about obesity for women is that they are less successful in conceiving and a slightly increased BMI for women at the age of 18 leads to a higher risk of infertility (see AMA link).
Pregnant women who are obese tend to have babies that are larger which means that there's a greater risk of birth trauma and lifelong obesity (see AMA link).
Similar findings emerged from a study in the US of women obese at the time of pregnancy which give evidence to the relation between maternal obesity and certain categories of birth defects (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/0...) .
The Australian Medical Association wants the Government to follow the UK's lead and adopt a strategy with a campaign that focuses on diet, physical activity and healthier communities. The Government's response to obesity is a program including health checks and a guide to healthy habits as well as programs encouraging healthy eating at schools.
In the UK the campaign has been staged. Last April, advertising products with high fat, sugar and salt was banned from TV programs aimed a children under 10. Then in January this year, the next stage is to increase the age to 15.
Another initiative has been to get local councils to consider banning the building of junk food restaurants near schools and parks.
Fighting obesity is difficult, particularly when food and beverage companies use high amounts of sugar in popular cereals, breads, fruit juices, yogurts, muesli bars and other health snacks. These foods historically have never had as much sugar as they do now.
Go for more fresh fruits and vegetables!
About the authorLynn Berry is passionate about personal development, natural health care, justice and spirituality. She has a website at www.lynn-berry.com.
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