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52% less obesity in boys whose mothers lost substantial weight prior to pregnancy
Monday, September 29, 2008 1:15 pm Email this article
The prevalence of obesity was 52 percent less common in boys whose mothers had weight loss surgery prior to getting pregnant and lost a substantial amount of weight, reducing their average BMI from 48 to 31, according to a recent study.
There was no difference in the prevalence of obesity among girls.
"The results demonstrate the importance of potentially modifiable epigenetic factors in the cause of obesity," the authors of the study concluded. Subjects
Subjects: 172 children 2-18 years-old
The study looked at the prevalence of obesity in 172 children who were aged 2- to 18-years-old and born to 113 obese mothers with an average BMI 31 who had substantial weight loss prior to becoming pregnant after having had weight loss surgery (biliopancreatic bypass surgery) and compared them with 45 same-age siblings who were born before their mothers had the surgery when the mother’s BMI was 48, and also compared them with current population standards.
What is Epigenetics?
Epigenetics turns genes on and off
Genetics like like hardware, whereas epigenetics is like software.
Epigenetic factors turn genes on and off.
Comment #1: Epigenetics much more fascinating than genetics
I think epigenetics is much more fascinating than genetics.
The research shows that foods we eat, supplements we take, and environmental factors can turn genes on or off.
Research shows that the things that mothers do while they are pregnant can affect their offspring and future generations.
This is incredibly exciting to realize the power of this and to realize that it is possible to reverse the trend in obesity for offspring and for future generations.
Comment #2: Epigenetics may partially explain increase in obesity
Some researchers have argued that genetics cannot explain the increase in obesity in the last 30 years because genes change very, very, very slowly over thousands of years or tens of thousands of years or hundreds of thousands of years, not over the past 30 years.
However, epigenetic factors such as changes in our diet or chemicals in our environment could turn genes on or off which could partially explain the increase in obesity.
Comment #3: Discovery Channel and NovaScienceNow have had shows on Epigenetics
If you are interested in this topic, both the Discovery Channel and NovaScienceNow have had shows on Epigenetics.
It is fascinating stuff.
Kral JG, Biron S, Simard S, Hould F, Lebel S, Marceau S, Marceau P. Large maternal weight loss from obesity surgery prevents transmission of obesity to children who were followed for 2 to 18 years. Pediatrics. 2006 Dec, 118(6):e1644-9.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
J. G. Kral
Department of Surgery
Box 40, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
450 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA
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