Australian newborns 'getting bigger'

A study of newborns in Australia has found that babies are being born bigger that ever before.

Researchers from the University of Sydney at the Royal North Hospital examined records of one million babies born in New South Wales between 1990 and 2005.

The study found that one in six boys and one in ten girls now weigh over four kilograms, a significant increase on the numbers from the beginning of the period.

Dr Ruth Hadfield, from the hospital, said there is a relationship between a high birthweight and "the increased future risk of type 1 diabetes and a number of cancers, including infant and childhood leukaemia, and breast, prostate and colon cancer".

She added: "As well as the potential for life long health consequences, higher birthweights may also result in injury to the infant and the mother at the time of delivery."

A recent State of the World's Children 2009 report by Unicef stated that maternal and newborn health in China is improving, reported.