A research by British scientists indicates that mothers who eat junk food during pregnancy may raise the chance of having obese offspring that are at risk of developing diabetes .
The study by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), London, the United Kingdom, shows the offspring of mothers fed on unhealthy food with poor nutritional value during gestation and lactation display poorly developed muscles in comparison with those fed on a more balanced diet, the New Scientist reported on Thursday on its website.
According to the research, rats that were fed doughnuts, muffins, chocolates, crisps, cheese, biscuits and sweets during pregnancy and lactation gave birth to offspring with increased fatness and muscle waste.
The offspring also displayed signs of insulin resistance, a condition that precedes the early onset of type-2 diabetes as early as 3 weeks after birth.
“Our research suggests that healthy eating habits should start during the fetal life of an individual. Future mothers need to be aware that pregnancy is not the time to over-indulge on sugary-fatty treats,” Professor Neil Stickland from the College was quoted as saying.
“Eating large quantities of junk food when pregnant and breast-feeding could be causing irreversible damage to their unborn children and could send their offspring on the road to obesity and early onset of diabetes,” Professor Neil Stickland said.
Researchers from the College are currently investigating the longer- term effects of a maternal junk food diet on the offspring’s development and health as well as the possible effects of such diets on promoting hyperactive behaviour in offspring.

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