Obese Mothers Raises Child Diabetes Risk: Study Reveals

Obese Mothers Raises Child Diabetes Risk
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

According to the recent research, children born by obese mothers have the higher risk of developing diabetes type 1. Children born by mothers who were overweight or obese can develop, among other health issues, diabetes by 33%. That is alarming information.

The Research

The research was conducted in Sweden by Associate Professor Tahereh Moradi, from Karolinska Institute and her colleagues. The study included about 1.2 million children who were born between 1992 and 1994. Research followed children from birth until they were diagnosed with T1D (Type 1 Diabetes), emigration, their death or until the completion of the follow-up in 2009.

During the study period, 5771 children were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and they included:

  • 5155 children who’s both parents were from Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark).
  • 322 children had both parents outside of Nordic countries
  • 294 children had one parent born in one of the Nordic countries, and one parent born outside the Nordic countries.

BMI (Body Mass Index) was calculated during the first trimester of the mothers’ pregnancy.

The Result

The result of this massive research showed that the risk of getting Type 1 Diabetes increased in children whose parents with any type of diabetes, regardless of their nation and location of their birth. Children from Nordic families have higher risk of getting diabetes if their father has any type of diabetes. The risk of getting diabetes is five times higher than in children whose father isn’t obese and doesn’t have diabetes.

On the other hand, children whose mothers are obese or have diabetes, have increased risk of getting Type 1 Diabetes by three times.

Further, the maternal BMI that was high in the first trimester (30 kg/m2 or higher, defined as obese) was related to 33% increased risk of getting type 1 diabetes only in children of parents who didn’t have diabetes when compared with the normal range (18.5 to 25) of maternal BMI.

Results Explained by Researcher

“The finding that first trimester maternal obesity was a risk factor for type 1 diabetes only in offspring of parents without diabetes, and that maternal obesity caused no ‘extra’ risk in offspring of parents with diabetes, clearly suggests that heredity for type 1 diabetes is the strongest risk factor of the two for development of type 1 diabetes in the next generation.”

The study confirmed that high BMI in the first trimester of the pregnancy has greater risk of developing Type 1 diabetes in the child.

The team or researches believes that treating obesity can lower the risk of raising a child with type 1 diabetes.

The research also confirmed that risks are the same for all people, and all locations. Children’s risk of getting Type 1 diabetes had nothing to do with their location, national background, migration background and other factors.

Effect of Type 1 Diabetes on Child’s Health

Type 1 Diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when the child’s pancreas doesn’t produce* the insulin that is essential for entire organism. The missing insulin has to be replaced.

Type 1 Diabetes requires consistent treatment, but things have become easier now with the advanced monitoring of blood sugar and improvement in insulin delivery.

Check if Your Child has Type 1 Diabetes

If the mentioned symptoms are observed in child, then there is a chance that child is suffering from type 1 diabetes.

  • Increased Thirst And Urination – Blood sugar just builds up in the child’s bloodstream which leads to fluid being pulled up from tissues. That’s why the child gets thirsty more frequently, has to drink water and urinates more.
  • Intense Hunger – Due to the inability to produce* the insulin, blood sugar can’t be transferred to child’s cells which decreases* the child’s energy level. That’s why the child starts to eat more.
  • Sudden Weight Loss – even though the child eats more the rapid weight loss* is one of the biggest symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. Due to the lack of energy, muscle tissues and fat stores start shrinking.
  • Tiredness – The child becomes tired too often due to the fact the cells in child’s body are deprived of sugar.
  • Mood Changes – Children with Type 1 diabetes often display mood swings, irritability and change of behavior.
  • Blurred Vision – Fluid is being pulled up from the child’s tissues, which includes the lenses of the child’s eyes too. That results with blurred vision.

Must Watch – The Dangers of Pre-Pregnancy Obesity

Obesity in Women

Obesity is constantly on the rise. It is a threat to the health of individual, and becomes even bigger problem due to the fact that unhealthy lifestyle becomes normal for the children who have the greater chances of becoming obese too.

Also ReadHealthy Lifestyle to Maintain Your Weight

Women with BMI of 30 and higher are considered as obese while women (or people in general) with BMI between 24 and 30 are considered as overweight.

Statistics are:

  • 60% of adult women are overweight.
  • 14% of women in entire world are obese (in the 1980, only 8% of women worldwide were obese)
  • According to WHO, 297 million women over the age of 20 are obese.
  • On the worldwide level, women’s obesity is higher than men’s.

Obesity has a lot of impacts on overall health of women and it is even worse when a woman is pregnant because it affects the child’s health later throughout their life. Children born by obese mothers have greater risk of suffering from Type 1 Diabetes which requires consistent care. The things can improve* with the proper treatment of obesity during child-bearing years.

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Author

Expert Author : Peony C Echavez (Consumer Health Digest)

Peony is a registered nurse, and former Director of Nursing services for a large nursing facility. She has written web content for a large health education website, and currently creates content for a number of health practisioners.