‘Eating for two’ during pregnancy will make you fat in middle age
Vogue needn’t worry it’s clear she wasn’t tempted
WOMEN who ‘eat for two’ during pregnancy risk becoming fat for life, new research has warned.
While it is healthy for mothersto-be to put on some weight, doctors say an increasing number pile on too many pounds.
Scientists have found that doing so could ‘reprogramme’ a woman’s body to automatically lay down more fat in middle age.
By contrast, those who refuse the temptation to over-indulge during pregnancy may be afforded a degree of protection against obesity in later life.
The study, by the University of California San Diego, provides clues to why some women, including actress and mother-ofthree Kate Winslet, 43, have stayed slim despite having comparatively large families.
Others, including Kate Middleton and her sister, Pippa Matthews, who were cautious about how much they ate as mums-to-be, can also look forward to keeping their enviable figures. The research began when the team at UCSD noticed that more American women (38%) are obese than men (34%) and the gap widens from middle age. In tests with mice, which share a similar physiology to humans when it comes to putting on weight, scientists found it was not inevitable for rodents to pile on the pounds when they became mothers.
However, if overfed while pregnant, maternal obesity became far more common.
Professor Jianhua Shao, who led the study, said all the mice shed weight after birth, regardless of whether they had eaten healthily or not during pregnancy. However, from that point, those given an ‘unhealthy’ high-fat diet began to put weight back on.
Tests showed fat storage cells in the overfed mice became less responsive to oestrogen, a hormone that plays an important role in fat storage and energy use. Professor Shao said this amounted to a ‘reprogramming’ of the metabolism, which predisposed the mice to put on weight in the long term.
‘If these findings hold true for humans, the take-out is that if you want to remain slim in later life, you need to avoid putting on too much weight during pregnancy,’ he added.
The research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, adds to growing evidence that overeating or carrying too much weight in pregnancy can be dangerous, including studies showing the children of women who were obese during pregnancy are more likely to grow up to be overweight or obese.
It comes as a university study warns that half of all pregnant women put on too much weight putting themselves at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity in later life.
‘Their children are more likely to grow up obese’
just bEaChY: Vogue shows off her figure