The Greater Risk of Obesity

Maternal high-fat diet alters metabolism in offspring, leading to greater risk of obesity


The offspring of obese mothers consuming a high-fat diet during pregnancy are at a higher risk than the children of thin mothers for lifelong obesity, and related metabolic disorders. The molecular and cellular basis for these differences are clarified in a new study published in the recent issue of Cell by researchers at Yale School of Medicine and the University of Cologne. Conducted in mice, the study showed that the offspring of mothers who consumed a high-fat diet during lactation had abnormal neuronal circuits in the hypothalamus – a key brain region that regulates metabolism.

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