Mother's diet impacts fetal health

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 in Health & Wellness

Ivanhoe Broadcast News
Wednesday, January 21, 2009


(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Moms to be may have more reason to stick to a healthy diet while they’re pregnant. New research indicates a developing baby’s health can be affected by the amount of fat consumed by his or her mother.

There has been a recent rise in the United States in the number of children classified as obese and diagnosed with obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Previous studies pointed to the weight of an obese child’s mother during pregnancy.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University, Beaverton, and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora recently found the offspring of both lean and obese primates chronically consuming a high-fat diet had an increased risk of developing NAFLD. If those same mothers who were fed a high-fat diet were reverted to a low-fat diet during a subsequent pregnancy, their second offspring exhibited fewer signs of NAFLD.

These findings lead study authors to suggest a developing fetus is highly susceptible to maternal consumption of excess fat, whether or not the mother is obese.

SOURCE: The Journal of Clinical Investigation, published online Jan. 19, 2009