More babies are being born with more body fat at the same time when body mass index (BMI) has increased among pregnant women, says a new research.
Researchers from Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., analysed data from 1990 to 2005 and looked at more than 74,000 births.
They found that the ponderal index, a measurement of newborn body fat composition, correlated with the mother's BMI and also increased over the study period. Babies with a higher ponderal index tend to have more body fat.
"Health care providers need to pay closer attention to the body mass index of women before they get pregnant, and equal attention to how much weight they gain during the pregnancy," said lead author Felix Okah, professor of paediatrics and director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.
"Adult diseases like obesity may have their foundation during the foetal period, so efforts to safeguard the health of the foetus could translate to future adult health for these newborns," Okah added.
The findings were presented at the Paediatric Academic Societies annual meeting.