Fat mums have fatter babies

From Nature:

Fat_4 It might not seem inevitable that overweight mothers will have fatter babies. But this is exactly what’s happening in the United States, say researchers who have documented how the ‘obesity epidemic’ is being passed on to the next generation. The team, based at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, has found that the proportion of overweight babies has risen by almost two-thirds over the past two decades, so that 10% of babies now fall into this category. And the proportion of babies at the upper end of the weight scale — termed ‘at risk of becoming overweight’ — has risen by a third to 14%.

The group, led by Matt Gillman, followed more than 120,000 children between birth and 6 years of age, monitoring their weight and height. Infants from birth to 6 months old showed a particularly large increase in obesity from the 1980s to the 2000s, they add. A mother who gains a lot of weight during pregnancy can predispose her child to being overweight for life, says Gillman, who reports the work in the journal Obesity. In extreme cases, putting on excessive weight when pregnant can lead to a condition called gestational diabetes in the mother.

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