Childhood obesity statistics are clearly increasing. The causes are many, but some stand out. Some actually start in pregnancy and can be very easy to address.
After a child is born, there are many factors that have been proven to affect childhood obesity. Things like:
- Antibiotics that destroy the normal bacterial flora
- Poor quality diets combined with too little physical activity (such as too much TV watching)
- Chemical exposures (like BPA in plastic water bottles)
But can factors that occur during pregnancy be playing a role in rising childhood obesity statistics?
Mom’s diet and exercise levels during pregnancy are obviously critical as well as the avoidance of every possible pharmaceutical drug possible. In adults, there have been links between something as simple as vitamin D levels and obesity. As it turns out, this relationship may also play a strong role when vitamin D is used during pregnancy.
This particular study looked at the levels of vitamin D in pregnancy and the risk of their child being obese or overweight 6 years later. There was a clear correlation, with those moms having higher levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream being less likely to have 6 year olds with too much body fat. The authors suggest that vitamin D may play a role in the early programming of fat cells while the infant is still in the womb developing.
So this generally shouldn’t be a problem, right? Most women are taking prenatals, and prenatals have vitamin D in them, right??
Most prescription prenatal vitamins have a mere 400 IU. Not the mention the fact that ever one I have ever looked at are of very low quality and ridiculously expensive (although many pregnant women do not realize the true cost because of insurance coverage). Combine this knowledge with studies that have shown that many newborns and their moms are deficient in vitamin D and you’ve got quite a potential mess. A good dose of vitamin D during pregnancy usually starts around 2,000 IU per day and may go higher depending upon skin color, body mass index and latitude.
The bottom line is that, if you are pregnant or considering getting pregnant, supplemental vitamin D is probably a very good idea.
If you are pregnant or have had a baby, were you aware that taking supplemental vitamin D during pregnancy is a very good idea? What other measures have you taken to ensure that your child will maintain an ideal body weight?