Obesity in Children Happens When Nursing Mothers Consume a High Fat Diet

Published:August 9th, 2010

When nursing mothers can’t resist a high fat diet, their offsprings grow to become obese as a result. These findings were discussed during the Annual Meeting of the SSIB or the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.

The proponents of this study involved “cross-fostering” to conclude whether or ont maternal high fat diet is linked to developing obesity and diabetes in infants. Rat models were used, and were shown that obesity became the direct consequence of those nursing mothers consuming a high fat and a high calorie diet. The rat pups gained more body weight and were medically diagnosed as obese. Apart from such result, the rat pups also demonstrated an impaired sense of glucose tolerance which is a direct indicator of diabetes.

Bo Sun, lead author of the study has noted of such results and describes that “high fat diet intake is more significant for obesity and diabetes to develop later.” Further, consumption of high fat diets in nursing stages enhances this risk compared to high fat consumption during pregnancy. This led the researchers to conclude that moderate consumption of fat must be observed to avert this risk, particularly to those mothers who are still in the nursing stages.

Though on some occasions it can be a good thing for the growing infant, the rule that says “too much of anything is bad” still holds true even to this medical finding. While numerous studies have concluded the importance of a healthier weight gain in babies in the care of their nursing mothers, the risk and likelihood for obesity and excessive weight gain is doubled when breast milk quality contains higher than normal levels of fat.

The results from this study highlight the impact of diet on brain neurochemistry — and in particular on brain systems that regulate motivation and willingness to work for food reward in rats as well as humans.

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