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HEALTH: Beware of obesity when expecting a baby

Obesity is always dangerous, but it becomes even more so for mothers expecting a baby. This is emphasized by the World Health Organization (WHO), specifying that maternal obesity is not only a global health problem but is also associated with adverse outcomes, both for pregnant women and newborns.

The alarming data on obesity

Obesity is now officially identified as a global epidemic, that is, as one of the biggest health problems of the 21st century. Recent data from the WHO are alarming: since 1975, obesity worldwide has almost tripled to 13 percent, with an absolute 650 million obese individuals over the age of 18; 41 million children under the age of 5 who are overweight or obese; and more than 340 million children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19 living with obesity.

Maternal obesity

Obesity can impact the individual from the moment of conception: in fact, very frequent cases of pregnant women who are obese due to previous obesity or excessive weight gain during gestation. “Maternal obesity,” says Dr. Daniela Galliano, director of the IVI Center in Rome – constitutes a serious problem that is associated with both maternal and perinatal adverse outcomes: in fact, it increases abortion rates and obstetric and neonatal complications, resulting in lower birth rates of healthy babies.

In addition to the negative consequences of moods for the mother,”Obesity is a major risk factor for the onset of chronic diseases during their children’s lifetimes, especially in adolescence and adulthood, such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, and neurodevelopmental delay. Finally, obesity-induced fetal programming of metabolic function may have an intergenerational effect and could, therefore, pass on obesity into the next generation.”

Conclusions on obesity

Therefore, it is essential to seek medical advice and, at the same time, change one’s eating behavior and lifestyle. How? With diets suggested by specialists (no to “do-it-yourself” diets, but early pregnancy diets followed by the doctor) and increased exercise, with the aim of reducing weight in women before conception of a child, and thus to break the vicious cycle of intergenerational obesity.

SPECIALISTI IN EVIDENZA

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