Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Epigenetics Of Increasing Weight Through The Generations

“Overweight mothers give birth to offspring who become even heavier, resulting in amplification of obesity across generations, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in Houston who found that chemical changes in the ways genes are expressed - a phenomenon called epigenetics - could affect successive generations of mice. ‘There is an obesity epidemic in the United States and it's increasingly recognized as a worldwide phenomenon,’ said Dr. Robert A. Waterland, assistant professor of pediatrics - nutrition at BCM and lead author of the study that appears in the International Journal of Obesity. "Why is everyone getting heavier and heavier? One hypothesis is that maternal obesity before and during pregnancy affects the establishment of body weight regulatory mechanisms in her baby. Maternal obesity could promote obesity in the next generation.”

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