"Sumo" babies swelling up Britain's healthcare costs

Fat woman kidThe number of women giving birth to babies that weigh more than 11 pounds (about 5 kg) has soared by 50 percent in Britain over the last four years, the Daily Mail reported.These so-called "sumo" infants can be more costly for the National Health Service (NHS) to deliver and can suffer from ailments associated with their size. The rise in big babies has been put down to the nation's obesity crisis, because larger mothers often give birth to heavier children.

Experts warned Friday of an "epidemic of fat mothers" which is increasing the risk of heavier babies, who are themselves more likely to fall victim to heart disease. Last year, there were a total of 1,170 mothers who gave birth to a baby that tipped the scales at 11 pounds or more. Four years ago that figure was 791, The Mail said Friday. Big babies are generally considered to be a sign that the infant is healthy but an overly large child can be caused by obesity in the mother or an illness.

Not only that but various studies have found that nutrition and weight management has a profound impact on the development of infants. The usual adage that a 'woman is eating for two while pregnant' is really off centre because overeating usually leads to health problems for the infant during its initial years and later life. Maintaining a healthy weight during gestation lowers adverse risks on infants such as birth defects, as well as chronic conditions in adulthood such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

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