Obesity: A risk to next generation

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Obesity Initiative at UGA

Taking the vitamin folate before and after conception in an adequate dose greatly reduces the risk of the birth defect known as a neural tube. But says, Lynn Bailey, a professor and department head in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at UGA, “Obese women have lower blood levels of folate regardless of how much food folate they consume.”

“Obese women have a threefold increased risk for a neural-tube-affected pregnancy, and the state of Georgia has a higher percentage of obesity in women of reproductive age and a higher percentage of babies born with neural-tube defects than other states, so the research is very relevant to our home state.”

Bailey, who published her research in a peer-reviewed journal earlier this year, wants to get that information out to the public, and to clinicians.  She told the Athens Banner Herald, “Women will change their behavior and take a folate supplement if their health care provider or someone they trust provides the information (that it will lead to a healthier pregnancy).”

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