Link Between Low Birth Weight and Obesity in Later Years is Explained

According to researchers from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, inadequate nutrition during pregnancy can cause the stem cells of the babies be programmed differently.

The region of the brain which regulates food intake develops less cells and overeating becomes characteristic of a new born. The study explains why babies with low weight at birth tend to become obese in later years. The results of the study are published in the March 2011 issue of the journal brain research.

While the number of brain cells at the time of birth is less, there is an increased growth of these cells at abnormal rate in the later years. Such a development is undesirable.

Previous studies have found that in such an event, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart ailments and osteoporosis increases in the later years of the low weight babies. They face several cognitive and behavioral challenges too in their growing years.

As 17 percent of young children belonging to the age group 2-19 years are obese in the United States, the implications of this study cannot be taken lightly.

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