Pregnant women trial pill to tackle baby obesity in the womb

NHS trial of diabetes pill to prevent overweight mums having obese babies is underway


A number of overweight pregnant women in the UK are trialling a pill to combat the growing number of obese babies, writes the Daily Mail. According to reports, some of the women taking part have already had their babies, but more births need to happen before it can be established whether or not the treatment works.


More than 15% of pregnant women are obese and the number of babies born weighing more than 11lb has increased 50% over the last four years, according to the Daily Mail. And babies who are big at birth are apparently about twice as likely to be overweight when they’re adults.

Obese women produce more insulin compared to other pregnant women, which results in more nutrition being supplied to the baby. The researchers believe that by taking a diabetes drug to lower levels of insulin, they could cut the likelihood of mums having obese babies. It’s thought the in-the-womb treatment is able to redistribute the baby’s fat stores, lowering the deposits around the liver and other organs.

The trial, which is said to be a world first, involves 400 mums-to-be in Liverpool, Coventry, Sheffield and Edinburgh. It’s apparently been welcomed by obesity experts who say while the situation isn’t ideal, the issue needs to be tackled.

Professor Jane Norman, from Edinburgh University and the study’s leader, said, “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.”

Patrick O’Brien, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said, “When you are overweight in pregnancy you are at increased risk of just about every complication you can think of.”


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