Could a Pregnancy Diet High in Junk Food Change Your Baby's DNA?

Health & Wellness on 06.22.11


Though the prenatal nutrition guidelines that your doctor gave you can help you and your baby stay healthy during pregnancy, a new study shows that they have long term effects on the child's DNA, too, reports Mother Nature Network.

Researchers in the study compared blood from the umbilical cords with a close analysis of the mother's pregnancy diet and, 9 years later, the children's body fat levels. The result? "A woman's diet during early pregnancy can influence the baby's specific DNA regions that tell genes how to perform throughout her life," says the article. "So mom's diet not only affects how her baby is growing and developing, it can also change the baby's DNA in such a way that the baby is predisposed to obesity."

Babies whose mothers ate more fruits, grains, and vegetables during pregnancy had the expected DNA markers, while the children of mothers who ate fewer foods in those categories had "subtle changes" in their DNA, and were heavier than the rest of their age group.

More from Mother Nature Network

Photo: Jon Åslund/Creative Commons 

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