‘Eat­ing for two’ dur­ing preg­nancy will make you fat in mid­dle age

Vogue needn’t worry it’s clear she wasn’t tempted

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - TALK OF THE TOWN - By Stephen Adams [email protected]­sun­day.ie

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

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