Study to Give Fetuses Anti-Obesity Drugs

A hundred obese, pregnant women sign up for trial
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2011 12:30 PM CDT
Is it ever too soon to watch your weight?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Is in utero too soon to start taking anti-obesity drugs? A group of scientists are putting that question to the test; they’re giving a hundred obese pregnant women the diabetes drug Metformin. It won't help the moms lose weight, but it should limit the amount of sugar they pass along to junior, the Telegraph reports. Doctors are hoping that’ll lead to smaller babies, which in turn should lead to fewer C-sections and fewer cases of pre-eclampsia, a complication that often strikes overweight moms.

One leading weight loss organization has expressed reservations about the trial, with its CEO calling it “disturbing” and its science adviser saying women should lose weight in conventional ways, instead of “popping a pill that may help pregnancy outcomes.” The study’s lead researcher says that of course obese women should try to lose weight. But “lifestyle change takes time,” he says. “Metformin gives us another option.”

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