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More Babies are Oversized as Maternal Obesity Rate Rises, Lancet Report Says

Vienna, VA (PRWEB) August 31, 2013

Doctors have become concerned about the rise in births of over sized babies, according to a study published recently in the medical journal the Lancet and discussed in the article “Big baby boom: Supersize deliveries have doctors worried,” ( from NBC News Health, published on August 16, 2013.

The study in the Lancet found a 15 to 25 percent increase in developed countries in the number of babies that weighed more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces in the past two to three decades. Of greater concern to doctors, the study also suggests a strong link between the weight of a mother and the weight of a baby. China, which has struggled with rising levels of obesity in the population, had 6.9 of its babies born over sized. India, in comparison, where only 3.6 percent of the maternal population is classified as obese, had just 0.5 percent of its newborns born over sized.

The problem, according to sources for NBC News Health, is not just that babies are over sized, but that they suffer from health problems due to the extra weight. The issue seems to lie with the fact that sugar is functioning as a growth factor for over sized babies, according to Dr. Hyagriv Simhan. Dr. Simhan is the chief of maternal fetal medicine at Magee-Womens Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he explains further that the growth caused by excess sugar can be out of sync. “In some ways very large babies look more mature because of their size,” he tells NBC News Health. “But in terms of their lungs, they may be immature.” This can have health consequences for the rest of an individual’s life.

American doctors have gotten aggressive about making sure that infants are born healthy, which can include avoiding an over sized baby. It is believed that avoidance of babies growing too large, or the necessary of over sized babies, is one of the factors contributing to the rise of C-sections, which the article points out have grown 11 percent in a 13 year period, to 31 percent.

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