Can having a multiple birth be a problem?

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook and CBS News contributor Dr. Holly Phillips discussed  on "CBS This Morning: Saturday" the major medical stories of the week.

The Centers for Disease Control says the rate of twin births is up 76 percent over three decades. In many cases that's the result of fertility treatments. This week some of the specialists involved in those so called "miracle babies" called for new guidelines. They recommend just one baby at a time.

LaPook told the “CBS This Moring: Saturday” co-hosts” that the reason multiple births are a problem is that they come with “increased risk of dangerous side effects” to both the mother and the child.

“The new recommendations are saying, if you’re under 35, we’re just going to put in one embryo and 35-40 … only up to two or three,” said LaPook.

Doctors are calling for guidelines now, even though this has been going on for decades. LaPook said physicians did recognize that in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments needed to change.  

“The societies did recognize that we are putting too many embryos in. We were having too many multiple births. So, over the past 15 years, that number has been going down,” he said. “Now, they’re just saying that there are new techniques so that we can test a number of embryos to see which one will take. Now, you can have just as much success putting in one as putting in two.”

Also this week there was new information about a controversial question; can you be overweight but still be healthy? An article published in the annals of internal medicine says the answer is no.

Phillips told the “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-hosts that this was a very “interesting” study that looked at data from more than 60,000 patients.

“We’ve long known that being overweight or obese raises risk factors for heart disease – like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. What this study found was that even if you don’t have those risk factors, just being overweight or obese, still raises your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or dying prematurely,” she said. “We often say ‘It’s not the number on the scale, it’s how healthy you are,’ This study really shows its both.”

Phillips explained that the bottom line for people who are overweight, but don’t have these risk factors is that they need to focus on diet and exercise.

“It’s not just how you feel and whether or not you think you’re healthy,” she said. “It’s really about getting to a healthy number on the scale because there may be other things that can cause problems.”

For Dr. Jon LaPook and Dr. Holly Phillips' full roundup on this week's medical stories, watch the video in the player above.

Check out more from Morning Rounds with Dr. LaPook

  • Shoshana Davis

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