Women might want to talk to a private maternity service provider if they are concerned about their nutritional intake during pregnancy.

According to recent research published in the Journal of Physiology, a high-fat diet during pregnancy can increase the unborn child's likelihood of developing diabetes.

The team looked at rats that were not obese before the experiment and fed half of them a diet containing 45 per cent fat.

When the rodents gave birth, the offspring whose mothers were fed the fatty diet had blood sugar levels that were twice as high as those in the control group even though their mothers still had normal levels.

Yuan-Xiang Pan, a professor of nutrition, commented: "We found that exposure to a high-fat diet before birth modifies gene expression in the livers of offspring so they are more likely to overproduce glucose, which can cause early insulin resistance and diabetes."

The professor added that it remained to be seen if the effects could be reversed by diet changes after birth.



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