Nursing Moms' High-fat Diets: Obese Babies

PITTSBURGH, July 19 (UPI) — Nursing mothers, who eat high-fat diets may be more likely to have obese babies, U.S. researchers suggest.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore say their animal research links high-fat diets in nursing mothers with obese offspring. They suggest mothers who want to prevent obesity and metabolic problems in their children may wish to avoid consuming too much fat in their diet while nursing.

Lead author Bo Sun says rat pups nursed by mothers eating a high-fat diet were obese when weaned, even when the pup’s biological mother had eaten a low-fat diet during pregnancy. In addition, these pups displayed impaired glucose tolerance — an early indicator of diabetes.

“These results suggest that high-fat diet intake by nursing mothers may be more critical to the later development of obesity and diabetes in their offspring than high-fat feeding during pregnancy,” Sun said in a statement.

Sun and colleagues fed pregnant rats either a low-fat or high-fat diet and then “fostered over” the pups to nursing mothers eating the same or opposite diet.

Study findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior in Pittsburgh.

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