This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
A recently conducted study by the Université Laval researchers in Quebec City revealed that mothers who undergo obesity during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke when he or she is older. The study into the effects of weight-loss surgery on children born to obese mothers was conducted on 20 sample cases in which the mothers underwent stomach-shrinking surgery. Later the genes of the children born to the women before surgery and the genes of children born after were compared.
An estimate of 6,000 genes involved in inflammation and vascular disease behaved differently in the two sibling groups. It was observed that genes of children born after surgery had better insulin sensitivity and improved blood sugar levels in comparison to their brothers and sisters born before surgery. Consequently, the study concluded that obesity ultimately changes the environment of the womb and alters a baby’s DNA.
The author of the study, Marie-Claude Vohl, Ph.D., of the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods at Laval University mentioned in an interview that “maternal obesity is imprinting a type of mark that is put on the DNA of the children and that can then impact their gene expression, increasing the risk of chronic disease.” He explained that “there is an impact of obesity for the mother, the person that is obese. But there is also an impact on the next generation.”