Overweight Mom & Daughter

Big inheritance: Children born to overweight mothers face a higher risk of being fat themselves, according to a study which could help parents make healthier choices for their babies

© Frank Siteman/Science Faction/

The Daily Mail is Reporting that Children born to overweight mothers face a higher risk of being fat themselves - but breastfeeding can help offset the effect, a study has shown.

Being overweight and smoking during pregnancy both increase the chances of a child being obese, along with being heavy at birth and rapid weight gain as a baby.

But breastfeeding and the late introduction of solid foods can reduce a baby's risk of becoming overweight by about 15 percent, claim the researchers.

They say it should help new mothers make healthier choices for their babies.

Stephen Weng, who undertook the study, led by Dr Sarah Redsell, of Nottingham University's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, said complex influences affected child development, ranging from genetics to parents' lifestyle.

He added: 'We can speculate about how breastfeeding mitigates the risk of obesity in childhood - it could be mixed feeding, reduced calories from breastmilk, parental attitudes, or a combination of things.

'The research shows that breastfeeding your baby compared with never breastfeeding does have a modest benefit.'