In the latest edition of the “Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health,” researchers who collected data on mothers and children living in Finland in the mid-1980s discovered a striking fact: children who were conceived by overweight mothers were more likely to develop asthma during their adolescent years.
According to the study, which used data from approximately 7,000 people, children born of overweight mothers were 30 percent more likely to develop asthma later in life. More specifically, the study found that every pound of additional weight that a mother carried beyond her ideal weight lead to an approximately three percent increase in the likelihood of asthma.
The risk became more pronounced as mothers became increasingly overweight. For children born of obese mothers, their risk of asthma was increased by nearly 50 percent, a risk that was considerably larger than the risk to children born from mothers who were just overweight.
The researchers who conducted the study believed that obesity in mothers may inhibit the development of the lungs of children while still in the womb. If that were indeed the case, obesity in mothers could lead directly to asthma and other respiratory problems, such as wheezing, in children as they grow older.