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New sleep cycle discovery explains why fatty diets during pregnancy make kids obese
Date:11/22/2010

responsible for orchestrating circadian rhythms with appetite and food intake, are altered in offspring from the mothers on the high-fat diet. Specifically, one of these genes, called Npas2, is a key regulator of the circadian system and is itself regulated by changes in the fetal histone code. Scientists found that improving the diet, either for the pregnant or breastfeeding mother, or for the infant after birth, helps to partially restore the circadian machinery back to normal, possibly lessening the risk of childhood diseases related to obesity.

"We've recently published a number of studies in the FASEB Journal showing that what a mother eats affects the weight of her children for their entire lives," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. "Now, we know why, and what a wake-up call for pregnant women! The mother's diet during pregnancy affects their children's sleep machinery via genetic machinery that controls the sleep cycle. Children are literally forced to sleep in the proverbial bed their mothers have made."


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Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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