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Monday, March 11, 2013

Obesity - treatment starts at the womb to unborn child

Our ancestors lived naturally – longer and healthier at that.  As one could recall, three or four generations earlier, people were used to hard physical labour, would eat natural things, had clean habits, lived happily with lesser worries and lesser medication.


The present generation though living in an age, where everything is available, modern methods of medicine, high potent drugs, quality food, good infrastructure of health care, science and technology, research in medicine and treatment methods – still, you hear and see people falling ill far too often, hospitals are crowded with patients, more incidence of chronic diseases, increased incidence of  disorders like diabetes, blood pressure, even youngsters suffering heart-attacks and more of sob stories………. Why are people suffering in this modern World.  Not trying to seek a philosophical answer or move to a religious orientation……

In cities, you find too many obese children – more than what you could call them as fat ! -  Obesity means having too much body fat. It is not the same as being overweight, which means weighing too much. A person may be overweight from extra muscle, bone, or water, as well as from having too much fat.  Taking in more calories than you burn can lead to obesity because the body stores unused calories as fat. Obesity can be caused by:- eating more food, drinking too much of alcohol, not doing enough exercise.  In many weight lose programmes, people eventually end up gaining some more than reducing.  Biology is one big reason for obesity and eating habits, not doing exercise, the type of things that we eat, having sedentary life style all can lead to obesity.   Some medical problems or treatments can also cause weight gain.  


Dwayne Leverlock though obese displayed exceptional agility and took a great catch, playing for Bermuda in the World Cup in West Indies

Read in Daily Mail of medicating babies in the womb.  News  of NHS  trial in UK of treatment to babies in womb to cut the risk of obese child i.e., providing diabetes pills to  Overweight mothers-to-be.  It states that if it is a success, treatment could be widespread in five years.  The doctors behind the controversial NHS trial say that obesity among pregnant women is reaching epidemic proportions and they need to act now to protect the health of tomorrow's children.  Overweight mothers-to-be are being allowed to take diabetes drugs to treat their unborn children in the womb to prevent them being born obese.

In UK there is growing concern on reported rise of the 'sumo baby', with the number of newborns weighing more than 11lb soaring by 50 per cent over the last four years. Some reports state that more than 15 per cent of pregnant women are obese. This raises their odds of dying in pregnancy, of their baby being stillborn and of a host of pregnancy complications, some of which can be fatal.  Big babies are around twice as likely to grow into overweight adults, suggesting obesity and the lifetime of ill-health it can bring is 'programmed' in the womb. The trial involves 400 pregnant women in Liverpool, Coventry, Sheffield and Edinburgh.  They have started taking metformin, which has been safely used by diabetics for decades and is cleared for the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy. It costs just pence per tablet.

The results would only reveal their success but at this juncture, medicating unborn babies seems too far-fetched in trying out solutions to today’s problems with future solutions.   Where is the World heading for ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
April 3, 2012.

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