Babies given weight loss drug in the womb

Mums-to-be will be given anti-obesity drug at UK hospitals

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Obese pregnant women at Liverpool Women’s Hospital will be given the diabetic drug, Metformin, to reduce blood sugar levels passed onto their babies in the womb.

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Although the drug won’t help the mums themselves lose weight, the three-year study hopes to tackle obesity rates and reduce the number of difficult births and pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia. The study will include 400 women in total, at hospitals in Liverpool, Coventry and Edinburgh.

“It’s about trying to improve outcomes in pregnancy for women who are overweight. The difficulty comes when you’ve been living in a particular way for years that isn’t healthy. Lifestyle change takes time and we would always encourage this as well but the use of Metformin gives us another option when the other isn’t realistic,” said Dr Andrew Weeks, who is leading the trial.

However, weight loss groups have aired concern over the use of the drug.

“The fact that the widely-used diabetes pill, Metformin, is being trialed to prevent obese babies being born to overweight mothers is disturbing to me, and I am sure most other women as well,” said Alison Wetton, CEO of All About Weight.

What are your views on the trial?

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