The number of children who have more than 3.500 grams at birth is increasing, and the latest example for that is brave Mila, who had more than 5 kilos when she was born. It was noticed that babies in most cases are near the upper limit, or even over it. Why are the babies getting bigger and bigger in Serbia and who is responsible for that?
According to the data of the Batut Institute of Public Health, the number of babies who had over 3,500 grams at birth in 2004 was 18,870, reaching the number of 54,902 in 2010. So the number of babies born has tripled in 6 years, and experts say that the situation is alarming today.
In 2004, the number of babies born with over 5 kg was 48, and in 2010 96, which is twice as high.
Why are the babies getting bigger and bigger in Serbia?
Before we enter this topic, it is actually very important to know what the size of the baby actually depends on.
- The size of the baby depends on ethnic origin, above all. Larger children are born in Serbia than in Japan for obvious reasons. Secondly, the size of children depends mostly on genetics and mother's weight before pregnancy - explains gynecologist Dr. Mima Fazlagic and adds that the mother's weight is what has been increased by genetic growth lasting for generations.
She says that the third reason is nutrition, where she notes that an increasing number of people suffer from metabolic disturbances of sugar. This state of health affects the genetic predisposition for obesity which is already a major problem.
- The major problem is gestational diabetes, which is more and more common. We tell women that metabolism in pregnancy changes and that the level of sugar and fat rises. Therefore, it is not advisable to take large amounts of sugar and fat during pregnancy, but it is insisted on taking protein through the diet - says Dr. Fazlagic, adding that the blood of the mother during pregnancy is the same blood for the baby and that the woman must take care of the sugar. Namely, if it is high, the baby must make its own insulin to process those sugars and that is why it is becoming heavier.
As regards the height of children, Dr. Mima Fazlagic explains that this is a matter of genetics, but also that every being is entitled to its genetic mutation and that children are far higher than their parents and even ancestors. This, of course, is not a rule, but a deviation from genetic heritage.
Today we live better, so our children are nourished from birth
The pediatrician Dr. Milica Kotlajic talked for Telegraf about this topic. She said that the number of children who have increased weight or hight hasn't increased during her practice.
- I am just living the possibility for it, but I have no information that it was scientifically proven. Perhaps there is an opinion that the weight and the height of the newborn have increased - said Dr. Kotlajic, and adds that one of the assumptions is the fact that the conditions are better now than 15 years ago, when there was war, and the economic crisis.
- She is leaving the possibilities that the mothers have better nutrition now and they are given the vitamins by their gynecologists, and that is why the children are born bigger.
Pediatrician and gastroenterologist Dr. Nedeljko Radlovic disagrees with the thesis that larger children are born, but draws attention to the fact that there is a problem of obesity
- It is not about that larger children are born generally in Serbia. On 65.040 children that are born, there are very few of them which are over 5 kilos, the number is almost negligible - said Dr. Radlovic, but he stresses that we should talk about obesity with children and pregnant women, because that is spreading awareness about the problem which can grow into much more serious diseases.
One of those problems is diabetes, which the children in the prenatal period can "inherit" from mother.
How to solve the problem of obesity with children?
- It is very important for the mother to have healthy nutrition during pregnancy and to maintain optimal body weight, especially because of sugar which can be a problem - Dr. Radlovic is clear and he adds that besides breastfeeding which is important for the immune system of the child, he stresses that it can reduce the chances for the child to develop diabetes during life by 30 percent.
He points out that breast milk is an important factor which, among other things, also determines the height and weight of the child, that is, it precisely prevents obesity in the early months of the newborn.
- It is essential that the child is breastfed for up to a year, and it is good to even extend that period - advises Dr. Nedeljko Radlovic and says that strict rules should be kept for the introduction of solid food in children. This means that a child should have three milk meals, one vegetable-meat mean, and one fruit meal and up to two years two milk rations, two vegetables-meat, and one fruity meal.
So, if your nutrition is healthy during pregnancy, you have no reason to worry that you will give birth to an obese child or that it will become obese.
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(Telegraf.co.uk / Jelena Bojic Obradovic / firstname.lastname@example.org)