Can a mother's pregnancy diet influence her child's future weight?

Source: Time Magazine's Healthland; Diabetes, April 2011

A team of international researchers found that pregnant women with diets low in carbohydrates were more likely to have children with increased body fat between ages 6 and 9. These children experienced some modifications in their DNA due to changes in the cell material that modifies genes and how they are expressed (epigenetic markers).

Researchers identified markers associated with metabolic function, measured in the umbilical cord. Children from women who ate low-carb diets during pregnancy were more likely to have the relevant epigenetic markers in their umbilical cords. While the study was small and showed no cause or effect, growing evidence in the field suggests the impact of epigenetic changes, combined with one’s genes and environment, can help determine good health.