Obese mums increase the risk of childhood asthma

Studies have proven that being obese or seriously overweight before conception and during pregnancy can increase the chances of childhood asthma and suffering from respiratory problems.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and involved 7,000 children from Finland who were born in 1985 and 1986.

The children’s’ mothers’ height and weight was recorded before conception and was analysed as part of the study. The mums-to-be were also asked questions about their social background, lifestyle and levels of education, 12 weeks in to the pregnancy.

The study showed that out of the mothers who were seriously overweight and who maintained an unhealthy lifestyle, six per cent of the children born to these mothers had childhood asthma and 12 per cent of the children had had asthma at some point in their lives.

Talking about the connection between overweight mothers and the risks of childhood asthma, Professor Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin said:

“The children of obese women who have a history of allergy also have a higher risk of wheezing. There is more than a 3.5 times higher risk of wheezing and for current wheezing the risk is over four times higher.”

Reiterating Professor Jarvelin’s concerns is Professor Andrew Prentice, from the London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine.

“Overweight mothers not only put themselves at risk, but also their unborn babies and almost certainly, their grandchildren,” warns Professor Prentice.

Although it is not only obese mothers who can put their unborn child at risk of developing respiratory disorders.

A recent study into the effects of eating nuts during pregnancy has revealed that eating too many nuts can put children at risk of developing conditions such as asthma.

According to a study conducted at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, children who have been diagnosed with asthma or other breathing problems were more likely to have been born to mothers who ate a large number of nuts or nut products throughout their pregnancy.