I find that when people have a goal for their health they
are more likely to achieve their goal. I
know that parents always want the best for their children. Mothers will often modify their behaviors to
improve the health of their children.
I thought this study is a good reason to encourage women
that are considering getting pregnancy to begin a weight management program
before they get pregnant to help their children be healthier. I do not recommend women try to lose weight
while they are pregnant so this advice is for women that are in the planning
stages of pregnancy. This is also to
help women plan to lose weight after pregnancy so they will be at their normal
weight in case they get pregnant again after the pregnancy.
The definition of obesity as noted from the Mayo Clinic is
having an excessive amount of body fat, usually defined by a Body Mass Index
(BMI) of more than 30.0 on the BMI scale. The definition of overweight is
having a BMI of between 25.0 -29.9. A
normal weight person will have a BMI between 18.5-24.9.
This study that was published in the Journal of Allergy and
Clinical Immunology, showing that mothers that were considered obese during
pregnancy were putting their unborn children at risk for asthma, more than
mothers that were normal weight during pregnancy. The study noted that women that were
overweight also had increased chance of their children having asthma but not as
high as obese women.
The study was jointly conducted by Australian institutes and
Umea University in Sweden with over 129,000 mothers in Stockholm and their
189,000 children. Obese women were 41 percent more likely to have children who
develop asthma and overweight women were 18 percent more likely than normal
The lead author explained that increased weight during
pregnancy raises the risk of the child being obese. This also influences the
child’s immune system and response towards allergies.
What I take from this study is that if the immune system
affects allergies and asthma and perhaps other diseases as well. This is the
gift that studies give us by allowing us insights into our own bodies and
behaviors that impact them.