Microwaves and wireless devices can increase the risk of obesity in unborn children, a new study reveals.
Researchers have found magnetic fields from these sorts of appliances can increase the risk of an unborn baby growing up to be obese by almost 70 per cent.
"Pregnancy is a critical developmental stage that is among the most vulnerable periods to environmental exposures," said lead author, De-Kun Li, a perinatal epidemiologist.
"These findings indicate that electromagnetic fields, from microwave ovens to countless wireless devices, may be contributing to childhood obesity risk," Dr Li said.
Mothers participating in the research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, carried a meter that measured the magnetic field they were exposed to while they were carrying their baby. The growth of 733 babies born to these women was then analysed.
Researchers tracked every child for 11 years, collecting height and weight measurements.
Low to medium exposure to electromagnetic fields was associated with a 50 per cent rise in obesity risk, while a high exposure could raise risk by up to about 84 per cent, they found.
Previous studies have discovered a link between magnetic field exposure and increased asthma risk. According to researchers, environmental factors are amplified during development of the baby in the womb.
- HERALD ONLINE