Washington: A new International study has revealed that babies born to healthy mothers are remarkably of the same size worldwide.
It has previously been suggested that 'race' and 'ethnicity' were largely responsible for differences in the size of babies born in different populations and countries, however, the new findings suggested that they are not the primary factor and the educational, health and nutritional status of the mothers, and care provided during pregnancy were the major aspects.
The study, Intergrowth-21st was led by Oxford University researchers, which involved almost 60,000 pregnancies in eight defined urban areas in Brazil, China, India, Italy, Kenya, Oman, the UK and USA.
Professor Jose Villar of the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford said that currently people were not all equal at birth but they could be because now they could create a similar start for all by making sure mothers were well educated and nourished, by treating infection and by providing adequate antenatal care.
The final aim of the study would be to construct international standards describing optimal growth of a baby in the womb and as newborn, standards to reflect how a baby should grow when mothers have adequate health, nutrition and socioeconomic status.
Professor Ruyan Pang, from Peking University, China, said that the results fit perfectly with the existing WHO Infant and Child Growth Standards, moreover having international standards of optimal growth from conception to 5 years of age that everyone in the world could use meant it would now be possible to evaluate improvements in health and nutrition using the same yardstick.
The study is published in The Lancet, Diabetes and Endocrinology.