A new study now finds that children born to obese mothers are 57 per cent more likely to develop cancer. The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, saw them analyzing more than 2 million births and 3,000 cancer cases in Pennsylvania, and conclude that disruptions to insulin levels at crucial points in the fetus's development could set in motion dangerous cell changes that lead to disease years down the line.
According to researchers, the connection is so strong that it should discourage any expectant mums to stay away from fast food and excessive consumption of sugar, which could derail their insulin control.
A story published in Daily Mail quotes lead author Dr. Shaina Stacy as saying, "My hope is that this study can be, in a way, empowering and also motivating for weight loss."
The study saw her team analyzing birth and cancer registry records of the state between 2003 and 2016, following which they found children born to severely obese mothers - with a BMI (body mass index) above 40 - had a 57 percent higher risk of leukemia before the age of five.
They further found that with decreasing BMI, the risk decreases too.
Speaking about the same, Dr. Stacy revealed that the study is not to make obese women feel guilty, but rather, they are hoping the findings, "point to one more reason for weight loss."
The results, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, were based on the pre-pregnancy BMI in mothers and subsequent cancer diagnosis in their offspring.