‘In a world first trial’ = Pregnant mothers used as guinea pigs
‘Researchers are hoping’ = They have not the foggiest idea what they are doing
What could possibly go wrong?
– Obesity treated in the womb (Herald Sun, April 02, 2012):
- Obese women given diabetes pills in drug trial
- Aim to reduce the size of their babies in the womb
- “Saying at that stage to eat less is not particularly helpful”
OBESE mothers are being given diabetes pills to reduce the chance of them having a fat baby.
In a world first trial, 400 overweight pregnant women in the UK and Scotland will be prescribed metformin – a drug that has been used for decades to treat diabetes and is cleared for pregnancy.
Researchers are hoping that taking metformin from the second trimester onwards will have result in smaller babies and cut the risk of stillbirth, maternal death and cardiovascular disease.
The trial has angered many health experts who say overweight mothers should be encouraged to exercise and eat properly rather than just pop a pill to produce a thinner baby.
Doctors behind the trail say that obesity among pregnant women is reaching epidemic proportions and they need to act now to protect the health of tomorrow’s children.
“’I absolutely support the improvement of diet and encouraging exercise but we are increasingly faced with women who start their pregnancy obese. Saying at that stage to eat less and exercise more is not particularly helpful,’ study leader Professor Jane Norman of Edinburgh University said.
So a pill it is.
Studies have already found that big babies are twice as likely to grow into overweight adults, suggesting that obesity and ill-health can be “programmed” in the womb. As they grow into adulthood they are more at risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
In a 2009 study published in the Australian Medical Journal researchers found the weight of Australian babies has significantly increased at birth.
Patrick O’Brien from the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists described the study as ‘very important’.
“When you are overweight in pregnancy you are at increased risk of just about every complication you can think of.”