A new study has found that pregnant women who are dealing with obesity need to opt for improved diet and physical activity to prevent the health risks linked to their infants. This study has looked at the effects of high glucose in pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and changes in infants’ DNA. GDM has become more prominent around the globe alongside an increase in obesity. It can shoot up the risk of many issues during pregnancy and childbirth. This condition can lead to metabolic ailments as well in infants later in life. Experts have found that high levels of glucose in pregnant women who are dealing with GDM are linked to epigenetic changes in the growing fetus. These genetic changes are chemical alterations in the genetic blueprint of the fetus, which can cause adverse health issues in the child. This study has been released in the journal PLOS Medicine.
Experts from the King’s College London and the University of Southampton have analyzed the data of around 550 pregnant women who have been suffering from obesity and their infants. The data have been taken from the UK Pregnancies Better Eating and Activity Trial (UPBEAT). This trial plans to enhance the diet and physical activity of obese pregnant women in the UK. Experts have compared these women, who have made necessary changes in their diet and workout sessions with a control group of obese women, who has not opted for improved diet plan and made no lifestyle changes during their pregnancy. Experts have found that women who have opted for a lower glycemic less fat diet and have increased their physical activities have put on less weight. They as well have been metabolically healthier as compared to women from the control group.
The findings of the study have confirmed that GDM and high glucose levels in pregnant women have been linked to changes in the pattern and level of functional variations in the DNA of their infants. However, the study has found that improved diet and physical activity can significantly reduce these methylation changes in infants who are born to mothers with GDM. Experts have claimed dietary and exercise interventions are quite essential for the growth of infants. Experts have seen that children who are born to mothers who have been dealing with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of obesity and poor control of glucose levels in the bloodstream.