An investigation into why children with obese mothers are at a greater risk of metabolic problems has revealed that obesity in pregnancy can alter the brain wiring of babies, leaving them susceptible to long-term disorders such as diabetes and weight gain.
Research on new-born mice nourished by the milk of mothers on a high-fat diet revealed that the mice developed abnormal nerve circuits in the area of the brain linked to regulating metabolism.
The findings imply that a human mother’s nutrition in the last three months of pregnancy is critical to her child’s future health.
US researcher Professor Tamas Horvath, from Yale School of Medicine said: “Our study suggests that expecting mothers can have major impact on the long-term metabolic health of their children by properly controlling nutrition during this developmental period of the offspring.
“Mothers can control or even reverse their offspring’s predisposition to obesity and resulting diseases by altering their food intake.”