Poor Nutrition in Pregnant Mothers Can Cause Obesity in Children!
Experiments conducted on rat models by researchers of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, have revealed interesting results, which show a link between the low food intake by some pregnant mothers and overeating habits of their children after birth.
According to this study, the uncontrollable drive to overeat among some children is programmed before the birth of the child, at the level of stem cells, inside the womb.
It was observed that the rats born with low-birth weight gorged, as though to compensate for the low food intake before their birth. This tendency of overeating continued into adulthood, resulting in obesity.
After these findings, researchers narrowed down their focus to the changes that might have occurred at the cellular level in the low birth weight babies.
They found that the nerve cells in the brain that are responsible for sending out hunger and eat signals are not properly divided and are less complex when compared to the neurons of those babies that had ample nutrition intake inside the uterus.
Due to improper cell division, the cells could not command the feeling of hunger. This in turn resulted in their minimal ability to signal the brain that the stomach is full, further leading to obesity.
Also, the number of neurons or nerve cells was less in low-birth weight babies, unlike the ones in babies with full nourishment.
Another significant observation was that, the cellular changes did not have any impact on the DNA of babies, which implies that the changes cannot be passed on to the next generation. Rather, the baby’s brain was trying to adapt to the low food environment in order to survive.
These findings send out a very basic but an undeniably important message that, maternal nutrition plays a key role in the eating habits of the baby later in life.