Low birth weight babies likely to develop higher body fat

Ottawa: Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies are four times more likely to develop higher body fat than other normal birth weight (NBW) babies, says a study conducted by Indian-origin researcher. According to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, babies born weighing less than 2.2 pounds are more likely to have dysglycemia -- abnormal blood glucose and lower lean mass -- in adulthood than their peer group although both groups have a similar body mass index (BMI). "It's important to know about these potential implications for the ELBW babies, so that we can identify ways to help those born premature counteract these potential influences on their health," said Saroj Saigal, Professor at McMaster University, at Hamilton, in Ontario, Canada. The researchers who have been following the health of new borns since their birth at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) hospital, found that 26 per cent ELBW babies among them have dysglycemia compared to 8 per cent of the NBW babies. "Because they were born early, the ELBW babies were living outside the womb during the most important developmental period for fat and muscle development. We think that might be related to our findings," Katherine Morrison, Associate Professor at McMaster University.