According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association obese women are more likely to give birth to children with congenital anomalies such as spina-bifida, heart problems and cleft palate. Researchers insist the overall risk is low since birth defects only affect 2% to 4% of pregnancies, but obese women were more likely to have a child with heart defects and nearly twice as likely to have a brain or spinal cord deformity; Reuters investigates.
In addition to birth defects, obesity can increase mortality in infants and women who gain too much weight during pregnancy may raise fatter teenagers. And other reports have linked obesity with cancer and heart attack risk, and greater likelihood of miscarriage.
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