Friday, January 22, 2010
While concern continues to mount over childhood obesity, it turns out that mothers in the U.S. are giving birth to lighter babies, and no one is quite sure why. The data, published Thursday in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showed a 1% increase in the number of the lowest-weight babies and suggested the birth-weight decline didn't stop in 2005. The trend is potentially troubling, since low-birth-weight babies are at higher risk for a host of health problems.
At the same time, researchers also found a 2% decrease in the number of babies considered large—those over the 90th percentile of weight for gestational age. That's considered positive, since large babies can experience more birth trauma and cause more birth injury to the mother.