Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Kids born small should get moving

08.08.2013
Female mice who were growth restricted in the womb were born at a lower birth weight, but were less active and prone to obesity as adults, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) at BCM and Texas Children's Hospital in a report that appears online in the International Journal of Obesity.

"Given that human studies also show female-specific obesity following early growth restriction," said Dr. Robert Waterland, associate professor of pediatrics – nutrition at BCM, and a member of the CNRC faculty, "it may be prudent to encourage parents of a low birth weight child to promote healthy physical activity – particularly if that child is a girl."

"These findings were a bit of a surprise," said Waterland, corresponding author of the report.

He had already shown that genetically normal female offspring of obese female mice of a specific type (prone to obesity and marked with a yellow coat) were themselves prone to obesity and inactivity. However, he realized he also had data on the mice's weight at birth. The birth weight data showed that the offspring of these overweight females were growth restricted in the uterus.

This was surprising because babies born to obese human women tend to be larger at birth, although there is a slightly elevated risk of low birth weight as well, said Waterland. When he looked at historical reports of people who had been born in famine conditions, he found that women – but not men – who had been growth-restricted in early life were more likely to be obese.

These included women born during the Dutch Hunger Winter near the end of World War II, the great famine in China from 1959 to 1961 and the Biafran famine during the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970).

Once it was considered important to help infants born small to "catch up and achieve a normal weight for their age," said Waterland. "Increasingly, these and other epidemiologic data show that it might not be a good thing. It might set you up for bad outcomes in the long term."

Their studies of the growth-restricted mice show definitively that they are not prone to overeat but become obese because they are less active. (Similar changes were not seen in male mice that were growth restricted in utero.)

That could make evolutionary sense, said Waterland. In times of food scarcity, it might be more important for females to be developmentally 'programmed' to conserve their energy for future bearing of offspring.

"Millions of low birth weight babies are born every year, so this could be an important factor in the worldwide obesity epidemic," said Waterland.

Others who took part in this research include Dr. Maria S. Baker, Dr. Ge Li, and John J. Kohorst, all of BCM. Kohorst is now with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Funding for this work came from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (Grant 1R01DK081557) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (Grant CRIS 6250-51000-055). Studies were also performed in the Mouse Metabolic Research Unit at the USDA/Agricultural Research Service Children's Nutrition Research Center at BCM and Texas Children's Hospital, which is supported by funds from the USDA ARS.

For more information on research at Baylor College of Medicine, please go to http://www.bcm.edu/fromthelab.

Dipali Pathak
pathak@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
http://www.bcm.edu/news

Dipali Pathak | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.edu

Further reports about: CNRC Medicine Nutrition USDA birth weight low birth weight

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>