Prebirth link to cause of childhood obesity

February 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, Medical Research & Studies


You must have noticed the strenuous efforts the Government is making to get our children healthier. It is a real cause for concern as being overweight is now much more common in the under 10′s than ever before. There are probably many factors that influence this, including lack of exercise and a high-fat diet, but a new study has shown that there is also a factor that comes into play before birth.

It was reported this month in the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal that a study done in Flanders in Belgium has revealed that when a woman is pregnant there is a link between how many environmental pollutants she is exposed to and the weight of her baby, right up to the first three years of life.

Certain chemicals are known to disrupt the endocrine system, but it hasn’t been realised that even brief exposures early in life can be a problem. Body weight may be increased if mother and baby are exposed to like pesticides, chemicals such as dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (DDE), hexachlorobenzene, dioxin-like compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – the ones found in aerosols. Children between one and three years of age were found to have a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) if exposed to these chemicals and more so if their mothers also smoked. For babies they tested blood from the umbilical cord to measure and identify any chemical pollutants at birth.

Statins – Children next?

Last week I raised concerns about the routine prescribing of statins, and now from the USA comes news that the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee has recommended routine screening of children, from 2 years old, for “high cholesterol”. Given the deterioration in children’s’ diets you may think that a good idea, but not when it is accompanied by the news that they are also recommending giving children as young as eight years old statin drugs. These drugs have never even been tested on children, never mind approved for their use – in fact not one single safety test has ever been conducted with children taking these powerful chemicals.

I am not going to repeat the side effects that I gave last week, but if they have such an impact on adults, can you imagine what they will do to children? Schools are having enough disciplinary problems as it is, without adding in children on drugs that can cause homicidal impulses and mental confusion. No one denies that more children are now presenting with high cholesterol levels, but surely the answer lies in controlling their diet and ensuring enough exercise? The main ‘culprits’ if a child is diagnosed with high cholesterol at the age of eight are the consumption of too great a quantity of these:

* Milk and dairy products
* Fried foods and trans fatty acids
* Processed meats and animal products

Nutritionists believe that virtually any child can be cured of high cholesterol in a matter of weeks by being fed a 100% plant-based diet, comprised entirely of non-processed foods, and including fresh, raw vegetable and fruit juices along with numerous superfoods such as apples, broccoli, wholemeal bread, salmon, bananas and brazil nuts. Simple, yes, and certainly better than putting a child on a drug regime that they could be kept on for years.