February 12, 2009

In The News: "Second Hand" Obesity

Today's New York Times reports on a new pooled analysis study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which concluded that "obese women are more likely to have babies with rare but serious birth defects, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects."

Although spina bifida is generally associated with insufficient maternal intake of folic acid, lead study author Dr. Judith Rankin theorizes that in the case of obese women, "insulin resistance and undiagnosed diabetes may be playing a causative role in birth defects... though the precise mechanism is not known."

This new study gives further credence to weight-loss recommendations given to obese women planning to start a family.

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