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Late-Childhood Obesity Associated With Low-Quality Maternal Diet During Pregnancy: Study

Researchers from University College Dublin, Ireland found that children of mothers who ate a higher quality diet, low in inflammation-associated foods, during pregnancy had a lower risk of obesity and lower body fat levels in late-childhood

Late-Childhood Obesity Associated With Low-Quality Maternal Diet During Pregnancy: Study
Highlights
  • Researchers analysed the data collected from 16,295 mother-child pairs
  • On average, mothers were 30 years old and had a healthy body mass index
  • The findings were published in the open-access journal BMC Medicine

Washington: The findings of a recent study suggest that an increased risk of obesity and excess body fat in children, especially during late-childhood can be associated with a low-quality diet during their mother’s pregnancy, which is high in foods and food components associated with chronic inflammation, during pregnancy. The findings were published in the open-access journal BMC Medicine. Researchers from University College Dublin, Ireland found that children of mothers who ate a higher quality diet, low in inflammation-associated foods, during pregnancy had a lower risk of obesity and lower body fat levels in late-childhood than children whose mothers ate a lower quality diet, high in inflammation-associated foods, while pregnant. This association was not observed in early or mid-childhood. Ling-Wei Chen, the corresponding author said:

Obesity in childhood often carries on into adulthood and is associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Mounting evidence suggests that maternal diet influences pregnancy and birth outcomes and points to the first one thousand days of a child’s life, from conception to two years old, as a critical period for preventing childhood obesity. Our research indicates that children born to mothers who eat a low-quality diet, high in inflammation-associated foods, during pregnancy may be more likely to have obesity or excess body fat in late childhood than those born to mothers who eat a high-quality diet low in inflammation-associated foods.

Also Read: There Has Been Drastic Rise In Obesity Among Children Under 5-Years In 20 States, Reveals NFHS 5 Report

To examine the effects of maternal diet on the likelihood of childhood obesity and excess body fat, the authors analysed data collected from 16,295 mother-child pairs in seven European birth cohort studies, from Ireland, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Poland, which are involved in the ALPHABET consortium.

On average, mothers were 30 years old and had a healthy BMI. Mothers reported the food they ate before and during pregnancy. The researchers assessed dietary quality and whether diets were high in foods and food components associated with chronic inflammation, such as saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and red and processed meat.

Also Read: Opinion: Childhood Obesity – One Of The Major Public Health Challenges Of The 21st Century

Children’s BMI was calculated in early, mid and late childhood. Additional data on children’s body composition during mid or late childhood was collected in five of the cohorts included in the study. The researchers found that children born to mothers who ate diets high in foods associated with inflammation throughout pregnancy tended to have lower levels of fat-free body mass, indicating lower levels of muscle mass, in late-childhood than those whose mothers ate diets low in inflammation-associated foods.

Previous research has found that low levels of muscle mass may be associated with a higher risk of combined diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. An association between a lower quality maternal diet, high in inflammation-associated foods, and lower levels of fat-free body mass in late-childhood was found to be stronger in boys than in girls.

Also Read: Why Breastfed Babies Have Improved Immune Systems? Research Reveals

An association between lower quality maternal diet, high in inflammation-associated foods, and higher body fat levels in mid-childhood was stronger in girls than in boys. Catherine Phillips, the principal investigator and coordinator of the ALPHABET project said:

Previous research has suggested that lower maternal carbohydrate intake in early pregnancy can induce epigenetic changes – that is changes which alter gene expression – in children that may be associated with an increased risk of obesity. We propose that a lower quality maternal diet, high in inflammation-associated foods, may similarly induce epigenetic changes and that this may increase the risk of children having obesity or excess body fat in later childhood. Our findings suggest that promoting an overall healthy diet, high in fruit and vegetables and low in refined carbohydrates and red and processed meats, throughout pregnancy may help prevent childhood obesity.

The authors caution that the observational nature of the study does not allow for conclusions about a causal relationship between maternal diet and childhood obesity and excess body fat. Future research should account in more detail for other factors that could influence the risk of obesity in childhood, such as childhood physical activity and diet, according to the authors.

Also Read: First 1,000 Days Of Life: Importance Of Maternal And Child Nutrition During Pregnancy And Up To Two Years Of Age

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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World

24,24,98,327Cases
20,40,54,102Active
3,35,14,449Recovered
49,29,776Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,24,98,327 and 49,29,776 have died; 20,40,54,102 are active cases and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 5:24 am.

India

3,41,43,236 15,786Cases
1,75,7453,086Active
3,35,14,449 18,641Recovered
4,53,042 231Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,43,236 confirmed cases including 4,53,042 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,75,745 and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,98,218 1,573

27,899 1,434

64,30,394 2,968

1,39,925 39

Kerala

48,88,523 8,733

82,093 1,240

47,79,228 9,855

27,202 118

Karnataka

29,84,849 365

9,017 86

29,37,848 443

37,984 8

Tamil Nadu

26,91,797 1,164

13,790 268

26,42,039 1,412

35,968 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,62,303 493

5,500 66

20,42,476 552

14,327 7

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,068 10

107 5

16,87,062 14

22,899 1

West Bengal

15,83,646 833

7,535 44

15,57,090 775

19,021 14

Delhi

14,39,488 22

311 1

14,14,087 21

25,090

Odisha

10,37,056 524

4,336 51

10,24,422 573

8,298 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,773 38

206 21

9,91,995 16

13,572 1

Rajasthan

9,54,395 2

36 2

9,45,405 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,353 13

156 20

8,16,110 33

10,087

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,721 12

88 6

7,82,110 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,125 9

131 2

7,60,945 11

10,049

Bihar

7,26,042 6

30 0

7,16,351 6

9,661

Telangana

6,69,739 183

3,967 1

6,61,829 183

3,943 1

Assam

6,07,811 384

3,762 152

5,98,087 228

5,962 4

Punjab

6,02,135 22

226 6

5,85,358 27

16,551 1

Jharkhand

3,48,526 40

166 24

3,43,225 16

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,787 14

176 0

3,36,213 14

7,398

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,386 87

814 14

3,26,143 73

4,429

Himachal Pradesh

2,22,138 202

1,452 58

2,16,955 140

3,731 4

Goa

1,77,765 59

618 21

1,73,790 35

3,357 3

Puducherry

1,27,564 43

454 7

1,25,258 50

1,852

Manipur

1,23,051 81

1,346 14

1,19,800 94

1,905 1

Mizoram

1,15,944 737

10,034 229

1,05,510 962

400 4

Tripura

84,369 18

105 10

83,448 8

816

Meghalaya

83,210 52

735 26

81,034 76

1,441 2

Chandigarh

65,315 3

26 2

64,469 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,065 22

140 2

54,645 20

280

Sikkim

31,819 19

185 10

31,241 9

393

Nagaland

31,670 11

250 5

30,743 15

677 1

Ladakh

20,896 10

43 9

20,645 1

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,678 2

4 2

10,670

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 0

7,510

129

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