The association between infants' temperament who are born to mothers with gestational diabetes and the risk of childhood obesity at ages 2 to 5 years were studied in a new observational study. The findings of the research are published in JAMA Pediatrics.
Children whose mothers develop diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to become obese but how infant temperament might influence the development of obesity in this population isn't clear. In healthy populations, the evidence for the influence of infant temperament on child weight status has been mixed.
‘The temperament of an infant having elevated soothability and activity is linked to early childhood obesity.’
Participants in this study included 382 mother-infant pairs who filled out a survey to assess infant temperament at ages 2 to 6 months. Findings suggest elevated soothability (children who are easily soothed have elevated soothability) was associated with increased likelihood of early childhood obesity. Infant temperaments of elevated soothability and activity also were associated with the early introduction of fruit juice and sugar-sweetened beverages before the age of 6 months and shorter breastfeeding duration. Explanations for why elevated soothability might contribute to obesity risk still need to be identified.