Sydney, Jan 28: Like mother, like kids -- a new research shows that fat mothers have fat kids.
Researchers from Australia conducted a study and found that women who are overweight before pregnancy, and during it, may condemn their children to a life of overeating and obesity. The study reveals that a mother's diet during pregnancy affects the baby's brain circuits, determining appetite and energy expenditure in their offspring.
The researchers, after conducting the study found that mothers fed a high-fat diet had offspring that were heavier, with more body fat and altered appetite regulators in the brain, meaning they overate.
''This suggests that mothers should think twice about overindulging, or using the excuse that they're eating for two during pregnancy,'' lead researcher Margaret Morris, of the University of NSW, said.
Unlike previous studies, the groundbreaking work highlights the pre-natal period as a critical time for ''programming of post-natal and adult appetite''.
The study was conducted using overweight female rats who mated with healthy males. The females continued to be fed a high-fat Western diet during and after pregnancy.
''The mums were overeating for that whole period. We found the offspring were a third heavier than the rats fed a low-fat ' diet,'' she said.
The experiment results also found their offspring were showing signs of developing diabetes at a young age, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The findings are particularly relevant for overweight mothers, highlighting the importance of maintaining a normal weight before and during pregnancy.