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Obesity During Pregnancy Increases Children's Risk of Asthma

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.

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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. 

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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 weight women.

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.

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Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae

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