Researchers find ways to predict baby's chance of being obese
Imperial College London’s researchers have found a way to predict the baby’s chance of being obese using a simple formula combining factors including birth weight, parent’s body mass index and whether the mother smoked during pregnancy.
The other factors include professional status of the mother, with children of less qualified parents more likely to become obese, and size of house hold, with children from small families being at a larger risk of becoming overweight.
The authors of the study hope that their prediction method will be used to help in identifying infants that are at higher risk of becoming overweight.
The authors hoped that their prediction method will be used to help identify infants that are at high risk for becoming overweight and obese and help families take steps to prevent their children from putting more weight.
The researchers said that about 20% of children predicted to have the highest risk at birth the likelihood of a child becoming obese.
“We’ve done a great job of outlining that obesity is a serious issue but we have made the general public paranoid that everyone is at risk,” the researchers said.
They were not able to find the generic variations that could predict childhood obesity at birth; they noted that about one in 10 cases of obesity are caused by rare mutations that seriously affect appetite regulation.
Tests for these mutations could become available to doctors in the next few years as the cost of DNA sequencing technology falls.