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Teen Moms More Likely To Become Obese Later In Future

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Saturday, April 20, 2013 | 4/20/2013 10:53:00 am

Teen moms experience many economic and educational disadvantages as a result of giving birth so young, but at least their bodies snap back. Right? Actually, that’s wrong, says a new study from the University of Michigan which found a clear link between giving birth as a teen and becoming obese later in life.

Lead author Dr. Tammy Chang and her colleagues published their results earlier this week in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It was based on data collected over the years 2001-2010 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which has attempted to gather data on a broad cross section of the nation.

“For the first time, we’ve identified our youngest moms as a high risk group for obesity, which we know to be one of the most debilitating, long-term health issues we face,” said Dr. Chang.

Their analysis showed that women who had their first child between the age of 13 and 19 had a 32 percent higher risk of obesity than a woman who had her first baby at age 20 or older. They also discovered that teen moms were less likely to be at a normal health weight before they got pregnant than the older mothers were.

And it isn’t only the mother’s health that might be at risk from a teen pregnancy. Babies born to teen moms are more likely to be underweight at birth.

However, it wouldn’t be fair to link America’s obesity epidemic with teen pregnancy. The National Center for Health Statistics published a study in February which showed that the teenage birth rate is at an all-time low after falling eight percent in only one year from 2010 to 2011.

As The Inquisitr reported earlier, that means that teen birth rates are down 25 percent since 2007 and a mind-boggling 49 percent since 1991.

Teen moms may indeed have a higher risk of becoming obese in later life, but there are fewer teen moms to run the risk.

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