Preventing childhood obesity must start before conception
A series of papers published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology has stated that the time before couples conceive is vital in the prevention of obesity in children. The researchers argue that more must be done to motivate future parents to lead a healthier lifestyle. There is a wide range of evidence showing that obesity can impact the developing baby. This study found that many people are becoming more obese and not planning ahead with pregnancies. One part of the paper aimed to determine the trends in global obesity amongst women and the consequences on their reproductive health. Another part of the study found that managing obesity during pregnancy, whilst being difficult was also a major concern, therefore showing that reducing the rate of obesity before pregnancy should be a priority.
The final parts of the series examined the effects that maternal obesity has on the child and possible overall interventions. These problems ranged from developmental to physical to genetic. The researchers called for a top-down approach from policy makers to improve opportunities for young people, especially those at risk, to lead healthier lives. However this must be accompanied by a bottom-up approach whereby communities and individuals create a demand for these services. Overall, the study aims to help future parents lead a healthy life, not only for themselves, but for their potential children too in order to stop the vicious cycle of obesity from generation to generation.
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