Low Birth Weight Babies

Health written question – answered on 24th March 2005.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the rate of low birth-weight babies in England compared with other countries in Western Europe.

Photo of Stephen Ladyman Stephen Ladyman Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

The incidence of low birth-weight babies has increased across Europe, particularly in England, which has a high incidence. In part, this is the result of advances in maternal and neonatal care which save premature babies who would not have survived in the past. There are also a number of avoidable causal factors associated with low birth-weight, which we are addressing through a range of initiatives to promote access to wholesome nutrition, enhanced health care prior to and during pregnancy and the adoption of healthier lifestyle choices.

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