London: Moms-to-be, it's high time that you shed the flab, for a new study says that obese women can make their babies fat.
   
Researchers at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital in London have carried out the study and found that moms-to-be who are obese develop a weight-regulating hormone defect which means their children also become obese.
   
They believe that the hormone leptin, which controls the desire to eat, is overproduced in obese women and they have now found excess levels of leptin can damage weight-control gland in foetuses.
   
The researchers say this can destroy a child's ability to control its weight after birth.
   
"This is a worrying prospect with growing obesity among women of child-bearing age," a newspaper quoted Prof Lucilla Poston, who is carrying out research at the hospital, as saying.
   
In fact, in Britain, the proportion of pregnant women who are obese has more than doubled in the last 20 years from seven per cent to 15 percent. And, experts estimate more than 100,000 babies a year are at risk of death, deformity or even serious health problems because of the surge.
   
They believe the dangers could be greatly reduced if obese women lost weight before becoming pregnant or modified their diet during pregnancy.
   
The heavyweight trend means maternity services in many areas are struggling, because treating overweight women during pregnancy puts extra burdens on doctors.

(Agencies)