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New Link Between Mother’s Pregnancy Diet and Offspring’s Chances of Obesity Found

Susan Patterson
December 21st, 2012
Updated 12/21/2012 at 1:52 am
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pregnantdiet 260x162 New Link Between Mothers Pregnancy Diet and Offsprings Chances of Obesity FoundWe have heard it said for some time now ”you are what you eat.” Meaning, if you consume foods that are not healthful, your health will ultimately be compromised. Mothers should take note that their children will also be “ what their mother ate.” Meaning, if mom eats poorly during pregnancy, her child’s health may suffer.

Pregnant women who eat a diet high in junk food and low in wholesome fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains, can ultimately lead to long-term health problems for the children. Studies done indicate that offspring of rats who consumed a poor diet during pregnancy had higher levels of blood glucose and insulin, a precursor to diabetes. Additionally, but less importantly, cholesterol and triglycerides were also increased. We are figuring out that a mother’s nutrition during pregnancy can influence her child’s risk of becoming obese later in life.

The journal of Diabetes published a study conducted by Southampton University in the United Kingdom that looked at the relationship between a pregnant mothers diet and obesity risk for her child. What was discovered was that a mother’s diet can actually change the function of her child’s DNA, known as epigenetic change. These changes, triggered by a mother’s diet, cause children to store excess fat regardless of how thin the mother is or the child’s weight at birth. The changes also influence the function of DNA without altering the inherited DNA sequence and affect how a person’s body reacts exercise and diet throughout their life.

The international team of researchers involved in this project clearly stated that obesity can not be attributed to genes and lifestyle alone but is also susceptible to nutritional  exposures in the womb. The influence that a mother’s diet has on her child’s health is definitely worth considering.

This information seems to be the answer to the question: should a healthy pregnancy diet begin before conception?

Healthy Diets and Healthy Babies

Clearly, focusing efforts on improving the quality of a mother’s diet during pregnancy can have far reaching impact on the health of her child. A healthy start is one way to ward off the disease process later in life, especially when it comes to killers such as diabetes and heart disease. Pregnant women should eat roughly 300 extra healthy calories each day, while lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains should form the basis of a pregnant women’s diet. Expecting mothers should also consume an adequate amount of vitamin C, iron, folate and iron.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle prior to conceptionis best for mother and baby.

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  • FrankyFreedom

    But of course a pregnant mother's diet (and her diet BEFORE becoming pregnant) effect the health of her baby. "You (and your BABY) are what you eat". This study shows that junk food and processed foods with low nutrient levels actually alter the offspring's DNA in negative ways (specifically increasing the offspring's change of developing obesity some time in life. And this does not even look at the nasty effects of foods which contain GMO – which have (of themselves) been found to alter BOTH the mother's AND baby's DNA. Thus, expectant mothers need to be very careful what they put into their bodies both BEFORE and DURING pregnancy or the consequences can be dire