Who is responsible for the juvenile obesity epidemic? Parents, particularly mothers, are the usual suspects: a new study from the University of Auckland says blame moms for overweight kids, but also, help her to lose weight. The New Zealand Herald reported Oct. 26 that South Auckland is one of the world’s fattest cities. The university’s clinical trials target maternal obesity with pregnancy weight loss interventions, diet and exercise advice with best probiotics for women.
Wait, what? Probiotics? Advising expectant moms to avoid maternal obesity and gestational diabetes seems legit. Medical interventions to help obese pregnant women get thinner makes sense. But what do probiotics have to do with weight loss? Quite a lot: probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in the digestive tract. Two common probiotics are lactobacillius bifidus and acidophilus, both found in yogurt and other fermented foods. WebMD lists other probiotics and where to find them. These live micro-organisms act as digestive aids, system cleansers and metabolism boosters. Consuming best quality probiotic supplements for gut health helps prevent food being stored as fat. It wards off obesity-related health problems like diabetes and high cholesterol. The Auckland study looks at whether probiotics can ward off gestational diabetes.
The University of Auckland trial is aims to curb unhealthy weight gain and gestational diabetes in expectant moms. Studies have found that maternal obesity is linked to childhood obesity. Overweight moms have overweight babies. Maternal obesity also puts infants at risk for perinatal infant mortality. In one Auckland, New Zealand county, 40 per cent of mothers are obese when they get pregnant. The problem is magnified when already overweight moms gain a lot of weight in pregnancy or develop gestational diabetes.
Being overweight at birth can establish lifetime patterns of obesity. Eighteen per cent of those Auckland children are obese in the compared to 10 percent nationwide. When those overweight children grow to adulthood, they will likely have overweight children and perpetuate the cycle of obesity. But Study leader Professor Lesley McCowan says that cycle can be broken in pregnancy. The clinical trials assess benefits of eating OTC probiotics in maternal obesity and gestational diabetes prevention. The trials hope to guide obese women toward healthy pregnancy weight gain or even weight loss.
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