University of Southampton links polyunsaturated fat for pregnant mothers to obese kids

Daily Echo: Pregnant mums diets linked to fat kids Pregnant mums diets linked to fat kids

HAMPSHIRE academics have proved that mums-to-be who eat higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy have fatter children.

Researchers believe their findings could help cut the rising obesity epidemic.

The team from the University of Southampton found children born to women who had higher levels of the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in cooking oils and nuts during pregnancy were more likely to be fat at the ages of four and six.

But the research also revealed mums with higher levels of omega 3 acids found in fish oil gave birth to youngsters who went on to have higher levels of muscle and bone, and less fat.

Members of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit measured the fat and muscle mass of 293 boys and girls at four and six years, who are part of the Southampton Women's Survey.

The assessments were compared to the concentrations of PUFAs, which were measured in blood samples collected from their mothers during pregnancy.

Senior Lecturer Dr Nicholas Harvey, who led the research with Clinical Research Fellow Dr Rebecca Moon, said: “Obesity is a rising problem in this country and there have been very few studies of mother's fatty acid levels during pregnancy and offspring fat mass.

“These results suggest that alterations to maternal diet during pregnancy to reduce n-6 PUFAs intake might have a beneficial effect on the body composition of the developing child.”

Dr Moon said she believes the results show a strategy to give pregnant women more omega 3 could help cut the number of overweight children, but only when combined with efforts to cut consumption of the polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Head of the MRC unit, Professor Cyrus Cooper, said the research is one of several being carried out.

He said: “This study forms part of a larger programme of research at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and University of Southampton in which we are seeking to understand how factors such as diet and lifestyle in the mother during pregnancy, and of the child in early life, influence a child's body composition and bone development.

“This work should help us to design interventions aimed at optimising body composition in childhood and later adulthood and thus improve the health of future generations.”

Comments (6)

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11:16am Thu 10 Jan 13

saintinpattaya says...

Fat parents usually means fat kids.
Fat parents usually means fat kids. saintinpattaya

11:32am Thu 10 Jan 13

boobooj says...

Was the study conducted in the Mutant Mile by any chance?
Was the study conducted in the Mutant Mile by any chance? boobooj

12:52pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Vonnie says...

What a load of tosh, but these researcher's findings will justify their existence. As a mother in the 1940s/50s, mine cooked with lard, dripping, and butter; and we had to eat most of the things that today are said to be unhealthy - because there was nothing else.
Mother was not fat and neither were any of her five children. Nor were most of my childhood friends or their parents who lived on the same sort of diet. Why? I think one of the reasons is because we had six times as much exercise from an early age than do children and adults today, and we burned off any excess.
Enforced and chosen sedentary lifestyles of today are as much to blame for obesity as is diet or genetic factors.
What a load of tosh, but these researcher's findings will justify their existence. As a mother in the 1940s/50s, mine cooked with lard, dripping, and butter; and we had to eat most of the things that today are said to be unhealthy - because there was nothing else. Mother was not fat and neither were any of her five children. Nor were most of my childhood friends or their parents who lived on the same sort of diet. Why? I think one of the reasons is because we had six times as much exercise from an early age than do children and adults today, and we burned off any excess. Enforced and chosen sedentary lifestyles of today are as much to blame for obesity as is diet or genetic factors. Vonnie

1:12pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Shoong says...

You would have thought fatties would have cottoned on to wearing clothes marked 'Journalists are t*****s' by now.
You would have thought fatties would have cottoned on to wearing clothes marked 'Journalists are t*****s' by now. Shoong

1:24pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Stu J says...

Vonnie wrote:
What a load of tosh, but these researcher's findings will justify their existence. As a mother in the 1940s/50s, mine cooked with lard, dripping, and butter; and we had to eat most of the things that today are said to be unhealthy - because there was nothing else.
Mother was not fat and neither were any of her five children. Nor were most of my childhood friends or their parents who lived on the same sort of diet. Why? I think one of the reasons is because we had six times as much exercise from an early age than do children and adults today, and we burned off any excess.
Enforced and chosen sedentary lifestyles of today are as much to blame for obesity as is diet or genetic factors.
All of the things you mention in that 40/50s cooking are however quite natural and I dare say the diet in general was a lot healthier, natural and less abundant with no in between meals snacking going on as that only really happened in the 70s when companies were trying to find new markets for selling their food. Now unfortunately business has come before our health.
[quote][p][bold]Vonnie[/bold] wrote: What a load of tosh, but these researcher's findings will justify their existence. As a mother in the 1940s/50s, mine cooked with lard, dripping, and butter; and we had to eat most of the things that today are said to be unhealthy - because there was nothing else. Mother was not fat and neither were any of her five children. Nor were most of my childhood friends or their parents who lived on the same sort of diet. Why? I think one of the reasons is because we had six times as much exercise from an early age than do children and adults today, and we burned off any excess. Enforced and chosen sedentary lifestyles of today are as much to blame for obesity as is diet or genetic factors.[/p][/quote]All of the things you mention in that 40/50s cooking are however quite natural and I dare say the diet in general was a lot healthier, natural and less abundant with no in between meals snacking going on as that only really happened in the 70s when companies were trying to find new markets for selling their food. Now unfortunately business has come before our health. Stu J

2:37pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Subject48 says...

Obesety epidemic... An EPIDEMIC people!! Stay away from fat people or you might catch it and get fat yourself. Fat people creeping up everywhere.... You have been warned!

Lazy parenting, sitting in front of a TV box all day; as a means to have you children baby sat with minimal effort, might have something to do with the issue.

If you cant be bothered to look after your frikin kids dotn have any.

I cought a bit of news on BBC about breakfasts being served in schools as. A single mother of three said something along the lines of:

"My kids don't have breakfast at home because I can't be bothered. I don't want each morning to start with a fight over breakfast"

To which the reporter was nodding sympatheticaly as if its totaly understandable...

I hope I am not the only one who thinks this attitude is more harmful to society then a pollio outbreak...
Obesety epidemic... An EPIDEMIC people!! Stay away from fat people or you might catch it and get fat yourself. Fat people creeping up everywhere.... You have been warned! Lazy parenting, sitting in front of a TV box all day; as a means to have you children baby sat with minimal effort, might have something to do with the issue. If you cant be bothered to look after your frikin kids dotn have any. I cought a bit of news on BBC about breakfasts being served in schools as. A single mother of three said something along the lines of: "My kids don't have breakfast at home because I can't be bothered. I don't want each morning to start with a fight over breakfast" To which the reporter was nodding sympatheticaly as if its totaly understandable... I hope I am not the only one who thinks this attitude is more harmful to society then a pollio outbreak... Subject48

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