Scientists have discovered that a mother's nutrition during pregnancy can strongly influence her child's risk of obesity many years later.



An international study, led by University of Southampton researchers and including teams from New Zealand and Singapore, has shown for the first time that during pregnancy, a mother's diet can alter the function of her child's DNA. The process, called epigenetic change, can lead to her child tending to lay down more fat. Importantly, the study shows that this effect acts independently of how fat or thin the mother is and of child's weight at birth.



Keith Godfrey, Professor of Epidemiology and Human Development at the University of Southampton, who led the study, says: "We have shown for the first time that susceptibility to obesity cannot simply be attributed to the combination of our genes and our lifestyle, but can be triggered by influences on a baby's development in the womb, including what the mother ate. A mother's nutrition while pregnant can cause important epigenetic changes that contribute to her offspring's risk of obesity during childhood."



continued at MedicalNewsToday.com>>

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