Being pregnant should be a time of joy. But, for obese women, it is also a time of high anxiety. Not only their existing health issues, such as diabetes or high blood pressure make pregnancy more risky, there is a big possibility that the baby will be predisposed to obesity. But, the new research by a team of U.S. scientists from the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas shows that this is not necessarily true. With healthy diet during pregnancy, even obese mothers can have healthy babies without increased risk of obesity in childhood and adulthood.
Scientists believe that the obesity cycle starts even before a baby is born. Obese mothers are more likely to have obese children. But, the new study shows that this cycle can be broken with healthy diet low in fat during pregnancy.
A diet rich in fat chemically changes unborn baby’s genetic material. But, these changes can be rewritten in part by protein called SIRT1, which changes key regulators of the metabolism of fat and glucose in babies. That means that reducing the fat in the diet of pregnant women can help prevent obesity in children regardless of their mothers being obese. Scientists hope that these new findings can stop the cycle of obesity and help prevent obesity in future generations.
The power of healthy diet
Many women gain too much weight during pregnancy, with an old excuse ‘I am eating for two.”This is not a good idea even for women of normal weight, but it is particularly dangerous for already overweight or obese women. To give their child a chance of growing healthy without increased risk of obesity and linked health risks, overweight women need to start healthy diet low in fat as soon as possible. The low fat diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables will not only help their babies to avoid inheriting tendency towards obesity, but will help them go through pregnancy with less problems and improve their general health and well-being. It is never too late to start eating well, and doing it while pregnant is maybe the best time of all.