Are we programmed to be fat in the womb?
London: If the extra pounds you are saddled with don`t go away no matter what you do, the reason maybe your mother.
Research suggests a mother`s lifestyle can affect the health of the unborn and programme his or her DNA in the womb.
Her diet, the way she exercises, whether she smokes or drinks alcohol and even which pollutants she is exposed to can alter the DNA of her unborn child, the journal Public Library of Science Medicine reports.
The latest evidence for the theory comes from researchers at Newcastle University who analysed the genes of children aged between nine and 11 years, according to the Daily Mail.
They specifically looked for genes that had the same letters but behaved differently in children who were overweight and those who were slim. Blood samples stored since the children`s births were then analysed.
It showed that in many cases, overweight youngsters displayed different chemical marks on their DNA at birth.
Caroline Relton, who led the research, said: "This suggests that our DNA could be marked before birth and these marks could predict our later body composition."