Women who fall pregnant while dieting `can have obese child`

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 17:41

London: Here`s an advice for married young women who plan to go on dieting? It may have a negative impact on your child if you fall pregnant, says a new study.

Researchers at the University of Manchester have found that women who fall pregnant when they are dieting are more likely to have obese child who can also develop diabetes later in life, the `Daily Mail` reported.

In their study on sheep, the researchers found that giving ewes less food at the time of conception caused DNA changes in the brains of their young.

The study investigated twin pregnancies in sheep as well the pregnancies of ewes that received less food around the time the lamb was conceived. The researchers then looked
at tissues from the brains of the unborn lambs to see if there were changes in the structure of the DNA.

Lead author Anne White said: "We found that unborn twin lambs had changes in the structure of DNA in the region of the brain that regulates food intake and glucose that resulted in an increased chance of diabetes in adulthood.

"Our findings provide a reason why twins are more likely to get diabetes but we have also shown that mothers who don`t have enough food around the time of conception may have a child who grows up with an increased risk of obesity."

The researchers believe their findings are relevant to humans as they reveal a non-genetic, or "epigenetic", way in which the DNA of offspring can be altered.

Prof White added: "Our study is important because it shows that factors in the brain can be altered by non-hereditary mechanisms and this results in changes in the body, which could make people obese.

"The findings may provide a new understanding of why twins can develop diabetes and also suggests that dieting around the time a baby is conceived may increase the chance of
the child becoming obese later in life."

The findings have been published in the `Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology`.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 17:41

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