Obese mums can make their babies fat, claims recent study.
According to researchers at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital in London, the hormone leptin, which controls the desire to eat, is overproduced in obese women and excess levels of the hormone can damage the weight-control gland in foetuses.
"This is a worrying prospect with growing obesity among women of child-bearing age," the Daily Express quoted Professor Lucilla Poston, the lead researcher as saying.
The proportion of pregnant women who are obese has more than doubled in the last 20 years from seven percent to 15 percent, and experts estimate more than 100,000 babies a year are at risk of death, deformity or serious health problems because of the surge.
Experts also believe that the dangers could be greatly reduced if obese women lose weight before becoming pregnant or modify their diet during pregnancy.
"This is a worrying prospect with growing obesity among women of child-bearing age," Poston said.