Obesity is one of the leading health epidemics in America. Studies show that 62 percent of the population is overweight or obese. These studies have gone further to research what impact obesity plays in the lives of pregnant women. Researchers and doctors know that obesity during pregnancy can lead to gestational diabetes and trouble during childbirth.
But now, researchers are looking into how obesity impacts a child’s immune system. The scientist behind the study took blood samples from the umbilical cords of the infants. The infants were born to 39 women with different social classes and ethnicities. None of the women smoked, had diabetes, or had gestational problems during pregnancy. All of the mothers gave birth to only one baby. The only formidable difference between the women was how they were compared physically; the women were either lean, overweight, or obese.
The numbers came back and proved just what Dr. Jennifer Walden thought they would, states Harpers Bazaar. Immune cells that would develop in the baby’s genetic makeup did not respond to bacterial antigens well when they were born to overweight and obese mothers. The babies born to obese and overweight mothers also showed sign of developing asthma, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease later in life. A lot of the cells that control allergic reaction and asthma response were reduced in overweight and obese mothers. The doctors behind the study are continuing to explore what obesity does to infants. Once more data is collected, the doctors plan to advise the medical community to screen overweight and obese mothers for these type of problems.