Babies could be given drugs in the womb to stop them from being born obese, doctors say.
Researchers in the US also believe that giving overweight mothers-to-be hormone medication could improve the unborn child’s health for decades to come, the dailymail has reported.
To test the theory, the researchers from the University of Colorado gave a hormone called adiponectin to obese mice while they were pregnant. Adiponectin is involved in processing sugar and many overweight women are low in it.
Untreated obese mice gave birth to fat pups, however those treated with adiponectin had pups of normal weight.
The researchers think that the hormone cuts the amount of food being passed from mother to baby across the placenta.
While the study was in mice, they believe it to be relevant to women and if shown to be safe and effective, could be given to pregnant women who are struggling with their weight.
“Because of concerns about negative effects on the baby, a new treatment of pregnant women has to be introduced with great care,” Lead researcher Thomas Jansson said.
“However, we believe it will be possible to treat with adiponectin or a drug with adiponectin-like effects because adiponectin is a natural hormone that is abnormally low in obese pregnant women.
“Because the goal would be to normalise the levels of a hormone that the woman already has, we believe it is unlikely it will cause any negative effects on the baby.”