A study released in Environmental Health suggests that women who are exposed to unusually high levels of air pollution during gestation may birth infants with a heightened risk for obesity.
For the study, researchers at the University of Colorado followed more than 100 mother-infant pairs as part of the Mother’s Milk Study.
“The objective of this study was to examine relationships between prenatal residential ambient air pollutants (AAP) exposure with infant growth and adiposity,” the study reads.
According to the results, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was associated with a higher risk of infant weight gain and total subcutaneous fat.
“Prenatal AAP exposure was associated with increased weight gain and anthropometric measures from 1-to-6 months of life among Hispanic infants. Sex-specific associations suggest differential consequences of in utero oxidative stress,” researchers found.
“These results indicate that prenatal AAP exposure may alter infant growth, which has potential to increase childhood obesity risk.”