A study has revealed that exercise is an effective means in reversing the negative metabolic effects passed on to the offsprings by their obese mothers.
An overweight mother can powerfully impact the next
generation, altering central appetite circuits in the brain and contributing to
increased fat deposits and metabolic disease in their children.
However, a new study on rodents, found that exercise was
able to dramatically reverse these impacts, the effect being most pronounced in
juveniles who both exercised and consumed a low-fat diet, reported the journal
Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease.
"Most, if not all, of the negative consequences of
maternal obesity can be reversed through voluntary exercise in the next
generation," said study leader Margaret Morris, professor at the
University of New South Wales School of Medical Sciences.
Offspring from obese female rats were found to be 12 per
cent heavier three weeks after birth than the control offspring, according to a
They also recorded higher fat deposits, plasma lipids, blood
pressure and induced glucose intolerance. When the pups also ate a high-fat
diet the weight gap increased to 37 per cent.
However, when the pups born to obese mothers were allowed to
exercise, their fat mass, plasma lipids, blood pressure and insulin resistance
Offspring who ate healthy food as well as engaged in
exercise reached metabolic levels similar to control rats born to normal weight
mothers and raised on standard chow. These findings are based on the doctoral
research of Sultana Rajia.