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article imageOp-Ed: Obesity can be damaging to kids and parents

By Ajit Jha     Aug 7, 2012 in Health
Obesity has of late emerged a popular subject of studies. However, most of these studies have found severe implications for obese mothers and their kids. In one such study, it was found that infants of obese mothers are slow developers.
According to a University of Iowa research study, babies of obese mothers do not grow normally. Such babies, according to the study gain less fat mass than those born to normal weight mothers in consequence to which they grew less in length and weight from birth until three months in comparison to babies born to normal women. Fat mass is considered critical to brain growth and development, according to the Iowa statement.
“If what we have found is true, it implies that the obesity epidemic is harming children while they are still in utero (womb) and increases the importance of addressing the risk of obesity before females enter the child-bearing years, where the negative effects can affect the next generation,” said Katie Larson Ode, assistant clinical professor in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at Iowa and the research team leader.
The study has implications for obese women in child bearing age, as in America alone, according to American Medical Association Journal, there are six obese women out of every ten in this age group.
According to other studies, children of obese women, however, soon catch up with other children and by the time they reach adolescence, they are fat themselves with likely health implications through out their lives.
Obese women giving birth to a baby by Cesarean section may likely suffer an infection, according to ANI, London as revealed in a study by the Health Protection Agency among 4,100 women.
According to this study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, while one in 10 women who undergo Cesarean section suffers post-surgery infection, the rate is highest among obese women. Hospital treatment may be needed in six percent of the serious infection.
In yet another study conducted by Geoff Ball, a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry with the Department of Pediatrics and department colleagues Amanda Newton and Carla Farnesi, the use of the terms ‘obese’ and ‘overweight’ adversely impacted the relationship between doctors and parents of children with excessive weight.
More neutral and less judgmental terms could be more preferable if the delicate balance is not to be the adversely impacted. In other words, parents' preferences about language regarding obesity must be honored, and health professionals should be careful when they talk about weight.
According to Ball, “Health professionals probably shouldn't use terms like fat, chubby, overweight or obese.”
While some parents felt they were responsible for their child’s excessive weight, the others felt health professionals were rude and judgmental. The health professionals on the other hand, were reluctant to spearhead difficult conversations even as parents felt it was the role of doctors to do that.
According to this study published in Pediatric Obesity, the families if offended may not follow physicians’ recommendations.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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