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Maternal diet 'affects child's DNA'
Maternal diet can affect a child's DNA, causing them to be obese later in life, new research has revealed.
The food a mother-to-be eats during gestation can cause an epigenetic change in her child's DNA, the international study, including researchers from the UK, Singapore and New Zealand, found.
Regardless of the size and weight of the mother, and the weight of the baby when it is born, this effect still has an impact, the researchers said.
Epigenetic changes in almost 300 children at birth were measured by the scientists, who found they strongly predicted the level of obesity of a child at six or nine years old.
Lead researcher Keith Godfrey, professor of epidemiology and human development at the University of Southampton, said: "Susceptibility to obesity cannot simply be attributed to the combination of our genes and our lifestyle, but can be triggered by influences on a baby's development in the womb, including what the mother ate."
Researchers from the University of Minnesota, US, discovered recently that stress during pregnancy could impact on the obesity of an unborn child.
Posted by Martine Ward