The food pregnant women eat may affect unborn children’s DNA and increase the risk of dreaded conditions later in life such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. This was revealed in a multi-nation study from the Auckland University’s Liggins Institute which looked into women’s diet and the after-effects of epigenetic change in fetuses DNA that are impacted by said diet.
Examining the epigenetic change using umbilical cord tissue of unborn babies, the researchers correlated the amount of change with the weight of the children when they are aged six to nine years.
The researchers noted that those with high levels of epigenetic change have a higher likelihood of developing a fat-prone metabolism that makes the affected children around 3 kilograms heavier than their peers. This extra weight is usually carried on to adulthood and results in increased risks of heart disease and diabetes.
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