If your daughter is on the low end of the birth weight curve, it may not be a good idea to encourage her to ‘catch up’ to get within the normal curve. A surprising new study, perfomed at Baylor College of Medicine, showed that female mice who were growth-restricted in utero (and thus born at a lower birth rate) were more prone to obesity as adults. After realizing this, researchers looked at historical reports of people born in famine conditions (growth-restricted early in life) and found that these women were more likely to be obese. This trend was not seen in males.
It seems that the reason for this is not over-eating later in life, but lack of activity. From an evolutionary sense, growth-restricted females may be more likely to conserve energy for future bearing of children. As there are millions of babies born each year with low birth weights- and obesity is certainly a growing problem worldwide- this study might prompt pediatricians to rethink their recommendations to moms with small little girls. While further research will yield more information, in the meanwhile, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure that your little ones are getting plenty of exercise and learning healthy habits at a young age!
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What do you think?