Thanks to a diabetes drug, obese mothers-to-be will be able to prevent their babies from inheriting the fat factor.
According to a new clinical trial, obesity of a child can be controlled in the mother's womb through a metformin if taken up to three times a day during pregnancy, reports the Daily Mail.
AdvertisementWith studies suggesting that the seeds of obesity are sown in the womb, early intervention could save youngsters from a lifetime of weight problems and ill-health.
The treatment is designed to reduce the food supply to the baby, rather than make the expectant mother lose weight herself.
Metformin, which costs pennies per tablet, has been safely used by diabetics for decades and is cleared for the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy.
Obese women make more insulin than other mothers-to-be and this leads to more fat, sugars and other foods being supplied to the baby.
It is hoped that using metformin to lower levels of insulin will reduce the food supply and cut the odds of babies being born obese.
The treatment may also cut the need for caesarean sections and reduce the odds of pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal complication of pregnancy.
The NHS trial will involve 400 obese but non-diabetic volunteers at hospitals in Liverpool, Edinburgh and Coventry.
Half will take metformin from around 12 weeks into their pregnancy and half will take dummy drugs.
Their health and their babies' health will be monitored and the results are expected in four years.
Metformin's long safety record in the treatment of diabetes means the drug could be prescribed to obese mothers-to-be shortly after this.
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