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Study finds risk factors behind obesity

A team of experts has found that the risk of a baby becoming obese later in childhood is increased by factors such as high birth weight, rapid weight gain, and having an overweight mother who smokes.

The researchers, from the University of Nottingham, discovered that children who were breastfed and introduced to solid foods at a later stage were less likely to be obese later on in childhood.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood. Undertaken by Phd student Stephen Weng and supported by Dr Sarah Redsell from the University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, the study looked at an analysis of 30 previous studies to investigate the factors affecting babies during the first year and the link to future obesity.

The team that carried out the latest study hopes the findings will be able to bridge the gap between research and the introduction of new clinical practices to help reduce childhood obesity.

Dr Redsell said: “The results of this study effectively identify the most significant risk factors by analysing data from a large number of other studies that have previously been conducted.”

She added that the results offer a building block for further research and could also be useful in healthcare practice.

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