Thanks, in part, to the processed nature of the American diet, obesity has reached epidemic proportions. The health implications of this problem are not only overwhelming for the overweight individual, but offspring are also likely to suffer. Research shows that obese women are at a much greater risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers including breast and ovarian and coronary artery disease, but that isn’t all. Being overweight could even lead to infertility in offspring.
Scientists have found that obese women have low levels of a particular hormone called ghrelin. Researchers, reporting in the Endocrine Society state that female mice whose mothers had reduced levels of this hormone had problems with fertility, specifically with implantation. The possible link between a mothers obesity and her daughters infertility has raised concerns over the far reaching impacts of female obesity.
Obesity in women is also responsible for a higher rate of caesarean sections, and abnormal pregnancy outcomes such an increased risk of neonatal mortality and malformations.
During the study, scientists discovered that the female offspring of obese mothers with reduced ghrelin levels had diminished fertility and much smaller litters than mice born from mothers with normal hormonal levels.
Although more research is needed, scientists feel hat low ghrelin levels could trigger uterus development in female offspring of obese women leading to fertility issues. This is just another reason why overweight women try very hard to be at a normal weight before conception.
More than Infertility: Other Increased Risks for Offspring
Unfortunately, infertility is not the only issue that manifests from a mother being overweight. Other research has also drawn a direct link between obese mothers and autistic babies, finding that overweight pregnant women have a startling 67% higher chance of having an autistic child than those who are not. In the study, the researchers note that the extreme prevalency of obesity in the United States is serious cause for alarm.
What’s more, offspring of overweight mothers have been found to not only be fatter, but to have more fat deposits in the liver.
Do yourself and your future child a favor and shed the weight – it will be well worth it.