Overweight mums having overweight babies: study

OVERWEIGHT mothers are more likely to have chubby babies, setting them up with a lifetime risk of diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses.

Tests on pregnant rodents by Australian scientists have revealed the extent to which fat runs in the family.

They found that pups from overweight rats were no fatter at birth than other baby rodents but they gained weight at an “extremely high rate” in the following days.

Margaret Morris, professor of pharmacology at the University of NSW, said it was a combination of the mother's extra weight and their high fat diet that sent the baby's weight climbing.

“It seems that these things actually affect chemicals in a baby's brain that regulate appetite, programming them to eat differently from babies born to leaner mothers,” Prof Morris said.

“That's significant because we believe brain control of appetite is likely to be set early in life, so this could set an infant up for obesity later in life.”



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