In recent decades, obesity in the United States has reached epidemic proportions and has grown to be a major health concern for people of all ages including, our countries youngest demographic, infants. Obesity in the United States is problematic and must be resolved or else our children’s future will be plagued with disease and health complications. Prenatal Causes
Studies have found that prenatal influences can predispose infant’s to an increased possibility of becoming obese later in life. There are three prenatal factors that strongly impact the nutrition and health of the fetus. These prenatal factors are excessive weight gain during pregnancy, smoking during pregnancy and untreated gestational diabetes during pregnancy. According to Studies conducted by researchers at Ludwid Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, maternal smoking during prenatal development increases an infant’s risk of becoming obese. The research concluded that “children of mothers who smoked were twice as likely to be obese and forty three percent more likely to be overweight than children of mothers who didn't smoke,”( ). The study defined obese children as those who have a body mass index in the 97th percentile or higher and overweight children as those having a body mass index in between the 90th and 96th percentile based on their age and gender on a weight for height index. A connection between infant obesity and maternal smoking during pregnancy was identified by head researcher Rudiger von Kries, subsequent to his analyzation of data collected from the health questionnaires of 6,483 German children between the ages of five and seven. Also, he found that the total number of cigarettes a woman smoked during pregnancy influenced the weight of her infant later in life. Infants of mothers who smoked a larger number of cigarettes during pregnancy became heavier than infants whose mothers smoked a smaller number of cigarettes. Researchers hypothesize, that nicotine causes...
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