A mother's diet during pregnancy can alter the DNA of her child. Credit: Keith Brofsky, Getty Images
Moms who pack on the pounds during pregnancy aren't the only ones who end up fat and flabby. It's likely baby will need her own personal trainer and nutrition consultant to stave off obesity if Mom spends nine months giving in to her food cravings.
In a new study, British researchers found that a mother's diet during pregnancy can alter the DNA of her child and increase the risk of obesity, BBC News
The study, to be published in the journal Diabetes
, showed that mothers with early pregnancy diets low in carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch, had children with these markers, and that there was a strong link between these markers and a child's obesity at ages 6 and 9. The researchers found kids with these changes were fatter, according to the BBC.
As a result of the findings, the British Heart Foundation
called for better nutritional and lifestyle support for pregnant women.
"What is surprising is that it explains a quarter of the difference in the fatness of children six to nine years later," Professor Keith Godfrey, who is from the University of Southampton
and led the international study, tells the BBC.
Significantly, the report showed the effect was "considerably greater" than that of birth weight and did not depend on how thin or fat the mother was.
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