Prevent That ‘Obese Fetus’ With Diet, Exercise — and Diabetes Pills?
Obese mothers present a variety of complications to their unborn children including development of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, C-sections, and birth trauma. A new clinical trial is now being performed in which obese pregnant women are offered metformin, a popular diabetes drug, in hopes of keeping those unborn babies at a healthy weight. While it’s good to read that the obesity epidemic is being prioritized among modern physicians, the use of diabetes pills doesn’t quite seem like a solution to the problem.
Doctors say in this article on msnbc.com that metformin is proven to be safe in cases of pregnancy gestational diabetes, but if the clinical trial goes well, is diabetes medication going to be the only option available to obese women? I worry that prioritizing a nutrition and exercise are going to come secondary to the use of medication.
Dr. Hassan Shehata, based in Surrey, UK, noted that, “Diet and exercise has not worked, several trials have shown,” and that women who are struggling with weight anyway face a much more risky path once becoming pregnant. He also maintains that pregnant women on the trial will maintain a healthful diet and routine exercise.
Although the use of this drug may save many babies in severe circumstances, I’d like to see fewer women find themselves in said severe circumstances. I’d like to read about this study along side trials to reduce the obesity epidemic, particularly in women approaching their childbearing years. I’d also like more studies investigating what might cause a woman committed to health and regular exercise to suffer from obesity. The fact that doctors are finding diet and exercise to be ineffective in this cohort is more alarming to me than anything else.
This clinical trial reads more committed to treating the symptoms of obesity rather than the cause, an effort that may diminish efforts to root out what is causing this epidemic in the first place.