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Mothers' diet and fat babies linked

Eating foods rich in trans fats while pregnant or breastfeeding could result in fatter babies, according to a recent study.

Research on rats published in Lipids in Health and Disease, found babies had a higher chance of being fat if their mother ate trans fats in pregnancy or while lactating.

Scientist who conducted the research have warned of the implications for pregnant women.

The process of making hydrogenated fats and oils, which help extend the shelf life of products, can lead to the creation of trans fats.

Many takeaways and a wide range of snack foods contain these fats, including certain pies, cakes and biscuits.

Researchers from Sao Paulo Federal University in Brazil also found rats whose mothers were fed the fat-rich diet were also more likely to suffer insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.

Those babies who ate fat as did their mothers, and then were exposed to a high fat diet after weaning, were the worst off. They suffered a 40% increase in body fat.

The researchers explained they found higher levels of adiponectin - which can increase insulin sensitivity - and body fat in "rats fed a diet containing hydrogenated vegetable fat during gestation and lactation and exposed to the same diet after weaning."

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