Having Bigger Babies One Way to Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

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By: Jan Chait

Iceland, which has a higher percentage of overweight people than its neighboring countries, also has a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes—often associated with obesity. Why the seeming contradiction? One reason might be that Iceland also has a higher percentage of bigger babies.

Researchers studied the relationship between weight and length at birth and the results of fasting blood-glucose and oral glucose challenge tests among 2,362 men and 2,286 women 33 to 65 years old who had higher birth weights. They found that only 3.4 percent of the men and 2.2 percent of the women had type 2 diabetes, despite their girth. Decreasing the number of babies who have low birth weight and length could result in a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, the researchers speculate.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2002

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