The number of individuals living who are overweight or obese is on the rise; concurrently, there is a rise in the number of overweight or obese pregnant women. High-fat and high-sugar diets are thought to play a role in the rise of obesity, but researchers believe the next generation will be predisposed to obesity and certain diseases due to molecular mechanisms that take place in the uterus during gestation. These molecular mechanisms are thought to be responsible for psychiatric and metabolic disorders associated with maternal obesity.

According to the researchers at University College Dublin, if changes are not made to dietary intake that are sufficient enough to reduce obesity rates and lessen the number of pregnancies plagued by obesity, we could see obesity pass between generations; with that passing, the risk of obesity-related diseases and disorders would continue to grow.

Source: Dowling D, McAuliffe FM. The Molecular Mechanisms of Offspring Effects from Obese Pregnancy. Obes Facts. 2013 Apr 4;6(2):134-145.