A Mother’s Body May Influence Her Child’s
Our physician researchers want to tackle the burden of obesity from very early on for a child. Jami Josefson, MD, an attending physician in our Division of Endocrinology and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has begun several related studies. In a pilot study on maternal body size and vitamin D levels, Dr. Josefson gathered information about the body fat of newborns, relating it to the amount of a nutritional element (vitamin D) in the blood of mothers and the umbilical cord of their newborns. Collaborating on this study was Craig Langman, MD, head of our Division of Kidney Diseases and the Isaac A Abt, MD, Professor of Kidney Diseases and Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School.
In the MANNA Study (Maternal Nutrition and Newborn Adiposity) , Dr. Josefson is collecting information from mothers on their diet during pregnancy and measuring the body fat of newborns using the Pea Pod® Infant Body Composition System. The goal is to identify factors in the womb that influence development of body fat at birth.
At the Lurie Children’s Clinical Research Unit, Josefson is looking forward to meeting children and mothers in the Hyperglycaemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Follow Up Study. This study is looking at glucose metabolism and body fat in both moms and their children. Wendy Brickman, MD, attending physician, Endocrinology, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School is the Principal Investigator for the study at Lurie Children’s. Eight to 12 years ago, data was collected both nationwide and internationally on thousands of mothers and their newborn children. “It’s exciting for us to be part of this long-term, follow-up study. We’re expecting to bring back about 300 moms and kids,” said Dr. Josefson.
For Northwestern University’s MOMFIT study (Maternal-Offspring Metabolics: Family Intervention Trial), Dr. Josefson is working with a collaborative team of investigators on a randomized/control diet and lifestyle intervention trial for overweight and obese pregnant women. Dr. Josefson will gather information on the body fat of infants and toddlers of mothers enrolled in this study.
Dr. Josefson likes being able to help families break the cycle of obesity and insulin resistance. As a pediatric endocrinologist at Lurie Children’s, she counsels our team and families in her care. This subject is especially important today because so many women of childbearing age are overweight or obese. Their children face greater health risks as a result.