Top 10 list

March 1, 2007

Maternal obesity surgery results in fewer obese offspring

Investigators compared the prevalence of obesity in two groups of children whose mothers had a history of obesity that resulted in malabsorptive surgery. Forty-five of the children in the study were born before their mothers had biliopancreatic bypass surgery, when mean maternal body mass index (BMI) was 48. The other 172 children were born after their mothers had malabsorptive surgery, when the mean maternal BMI was 31. Data for the study, which followed the offspring from the ages of 2 to 18 years, was collected from a tertiary referral center as well as maternal telephone interviews.

About 57% of children born to mothers after they had surgery were of normal weight, compared with 36% of children born to mothers before they had surgery. Similarly, birth after maternal surgery decreased the prevalence of obesity in the offspring by 52%, and severe obesity by 45.1%. In children from 6 to 18 years of age born after maternal surgery, the prevalence of overweight was at population levels (Kral JG et al: Pediatrics 2006;118:e1644).

So, obesity is not all in the genes. Among other factors, the intrauterine nutritional environment seems to have some role in determining which babies will end up overweight. We still have a lot to learn about the interactions between genetics and environment in development of obesity.

Top 10 list

Dr. Michael G. Burke chose the 10 best articles he reviewed in Journal Club over the past 12 months. The list below is chronological by issue of Contemporary Pediatrics. Head to to read the summary and commentary on all of the top ten, as well as all the others.

1 Maternal SSRI use causes problems in newborns
Levinson-Castiel R et al: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2006;160:173 (April 2006)

2 Fluoride varnish reduces early childhood cavities
Weintraub JA et al: J Dent Res 2006;85:172 (April 2006)

3 The "look" of Kawasaki may be different in young infants
Chang FY et al: Pediatr Infect Dis J 2006;25:241 (May 2006)

4 Concerned about child's weight? Then tell the parent what you think
Eckstein KC et al: Pediatrics 2006;117:681 (May 2006)

5 Ondansetron expedites oral rehydration in gastroenteritis
Freedman SB et al: N Engl J Med 2006;354:1698 (June 2006)

6 Complicating staphylococcal osteomyelitis is venous thrombosis
Gonzalez BE et al: Pediatrics 2006;117:1673 (July 2006)

7 Inner-city adults generally don't see the risk of environmental smoke to children
Parker M: Clin Pediatr 2006;45:335 (August 2006)

8 Killing lice with a hair dryer is more than a lot of hot air
Goates BM et al: Pediatrics 2006;118:1962 (January 2007)

9 Using TV as an analgesic
Belleni CV et al: Arch Dis Child 2006;91:1015 (February 2007)

10 Maternal obesity surgery reduces likelihood of offspring being obese
Kral; JG et al: Pediatrics 2006;118:e1644 (March 2007)