Those with low birth weight ‘are more likely to be overweight as adults’
People who are a low weight when they are born are more likely to become obese and need to lose weight when they are older, scientists have revealed.
Researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) found that changing the levels of the hormones insulin and leptin in the uterus often leads to a low birth weight and also alters the part of the brain that regulates appetite.
"By studying the ways in which leptin and insulin communicate with neural stem cells to divide and direct the cell fate, we may one day be able to come up with a new way to combat obesity," said author of the study Dr Mina Desai, a LA BioMed principal researcher.
She went on to say that few effective methods for preventing or treating obesity currently exist, despite the fact that being overweight is a leading cause of death in the western world.
Last year, researchers at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge found that people can dramatically reduce their genetic predisposition to obesity by exercising more.
Do you think you were predisposed to being overweight?