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Obese Pregnant Women Given Pills to Prevent Fat Babies

Posted: May 9, 2011 2:42 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2013 4:08 PM

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In the UK, obese pregnant women will be given the diabetes drug Metformin, in an attempt to keep their babies from being too fat. The trial will include about 400 women who are obese, but not diabetic. The idea is that the drug will limit the amount of insulin the women's bodies make and decrease the size of their babies at birth. Research shows "that almost half of women of child- bearing age are overweight or obese and more than 15 per cent of pregnant women are obese."

Being overweight and obese increase dangers of pregnancy and childbirth for women. "Big babies - those weighing more than 10lb - are around twice as likely to be obese as adults, suggesting obesity is ‘programmed' in the womb. The metformin trial, which has just started, aims to exploit the ability of the widely used diabetes drug to lower levels of the hormone insulin in the mother's bloodstream. Obese women make more insulin than other mothers-to-be and this leads to more fat, sugars and other foods being supplied to the baby."

What do you think of using pills to try and control the health of a baby not even born yet?

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