The Master of the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street in Dublin has warned that very large babies have a much greater chance of being obese in childhood and as adults.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Dr Rhona Mahony said that over the past few decades there has been a gradual increase in the size of newborn babies.

Dr Mahony said in babies larger than 4.5kg, or almost ten pounds, there appears to be a link between their large size at birth and subsequent childhood and adult obesity.

Dr Mahony added that mothers carrying excessive weight during pregnancy may contribute to their having macrosomic, or excessively large, babies.