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The New Zealand Herald today had a front page article arguing that expectant mothers diets could be creating an obesity diet ‘timebomb’ for their ‘unborn’ children.

Alongside a front page picture of an unborn child the article argued that what a mother eats and drinks during her pregnancy can alter the DNA of the child conditioning the child to grow obese or be at risk of conditions such as diabetes.

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, of the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland who aided the study, said: “For the first time ever, because of what we’ve done, we now have a way of working out what mother should eat.

“It confirms our suspicions that maternal nutrition does indeed influence the offspring’s risk of later obesity and disease.

“It’s a major breakthrough … It’s the biggest, most important finding I’ve made, as the result of 15 years’ work,” he said.

What Sir Peter and his team have done here is most definitely ground breaking and is part of a wave of new research showing that how the child is conditioned in the womb has a large impact on the child later in it’s life.

The EHD Institute has already provided a theory on how this works and it would be interest to see how Sir Peters research fits in with what they have already done.

Sir Peter goes on and nails this on the head:

“The study demonstrates the importance of developmental factors before birth in the pathway to childhood obesity – and we already know that childhood obesity is an important predictor of later diabetes and heart disease,” he said.

“It does imply that attention to mothers’ health and nutritional status early in pregnancy is very important, to get the best for your baby.

“We have to start focusing more on the help of mothers … otherwise we will never tackle this epidemic completely.”

Hopefully this will lead to more research which will continue to prove the importance of a child’s health both before and after birth and lead to good policy which helps mothers to be able to give their children the best start to life possible.

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