Probiotics and fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breast-feeding may reduce the risk for food allergies and eczema in early childhood, researchers report.
In a review of hundreds of studies, they found 19 randomized controlled trials with strong evidence showing that compared to no supplements, probiotics taken after the 36th week of pregnancy and the first months of lactation were associated with a 22 percent reduction in the risk for eczema in children.
They also analyzed six randomized trials with solid evidence that women who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements during pregnancy and lactation reduced the risk for childhood allergic reaction to eggs, the most common food allergy, by 31 percent.
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Pregnant women with high blood-sugar levels – even if it is below the cutoff for diabetes – are more likely to have babies with congenital heart defects, says a new study.
“We already knew that women with diabetes were at significantly increased risk for having children with congenital heart disease,” said the study’s lead author James Priest, postdoctoral scholar in pediatric cardiology at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, US.
Parents, if you want your kids to get more exercise, you’d be wise to get out of their way.
In a new study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers sought to observe how kids play in parks. Their overarching goal was to help park designers create public spaces that would better entice kids to run around and exercise. But along the way, the authors discovered something else: the single biggest barrier to children’s physical activity had less to do with park design itself and more to do with the hovering presence of a parent.
Children whose parents hung around monitoring them closely were only about half as likely to engage in high levels of physical activity as kids whose parents granted more freedom, the researchers found.
Do obese mothers automatically produce obese children with metabolic disease?
According to a study being presented today at the American Diabetes Association’s 75th Scientific Sessions, the in utero environment can indeed cultivate a child’s cells to accumulate extra fat.
Researchers say that environment also can produce metabolism differences that can lead to insulin resistance.
Other studies have shown that obesity during pregnancy is a risk factor for increased infant adiposity at birth. Severely overweight women also pass on an increased risk that their children will become obese and have metabolic disease later in life.
Women in the U.S. are having more babies — exactly 3,985,924 last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary data show that birth rates in the U.S. were up by 1 percent last year from 2013. It’s the first increase in seven years.
But teenagers aren’t having as many babies. The birth rate in that group dropped by 9 percent in 2014 compared with 2013. For context, teen births have been on the decline since 1991.
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics published the data Wednesday. The findings are based on nearly all births in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Among the findings in the report:
- The birth rate for Asians rose 6 percent, and 1 percent, respectively, for whites, blacks and Hispanics. The rate of Native American births dropped by 2 percent.
- The rate of unmarried women who gave birth declined by 1 percent.
- Women in their 30s and 40s continue to have more children, fueling the rise in the birth rate last year.
One of the authors of the report, Brady Hamilton of the National Center for Health Statistics, says the increase in the number of births overall was somewhat of a surprise.