Overweight women may have their mums to blame trends now
Daughters of overweight mothers are at greater risk of being overweight, a study has found.
Mothers have huge influence over how much their children run around during the day and what they eat, so those who are sedentary and have a less healthy diet can pass these habits on.
If mothers were overweight or did not have a healthy diet in pregnancy, evidence suggests they could also have 'programmed' their child in the womb to be biologically more at risk of obesity.
But now new research suggests these factors only affect daughters, and not sons.
Researchers looked at 240 children, whose body mass index (BMI) and fat mass was measured in three visits, when they were aged four, aged six to seven, and eight to nine years old.
Mothers have huge influence over how much their children run around during the day and what they eat, so those who are sedentary and have a less healthy diet can pass these habits on
Their mothers and fathers had the same measurements taken at the third visit.
Fathers' weight and body fat level was not linked to those of their children.
But the more overweight a mother was, the more overweight her daughter tended to be at ages six or seven and eight or nine.
Sons may not be affected in the same ways as daughters by their mothers' obesity because boys are typically more active in childhood and burn off more calories than girls.
A more important factor is likely be that girls are more influenced by what happens to them in the womb if their mother is overweight.
Women's fat mass was also linked to the fat mass of their daughters at age six and seven and eight or nine.
For children and young people aged 2 to 18, people can check their weight by working