So, does that mean I can blame my love handles on my mom and grandma?

Obesity seems to be a pretty hot topic in the news these days with stories ranging from the latest and greatest weight loss scheme to some new biological factor that explains our expanding waistlines to some other disease that can be blamed on obesity. Now, when it comes right down to it, nothing is quite as important to your personal health as living a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising (it’s true – easier said than done!). What’s new is that scientists have found a link between the nutrition habits of pregnant women and the likelihood that their children will be overweight or obese when they grow up.

This hypothesis has been around and certainly discussed in nutritional and medical anthropology classes in graduate schools around the country. But now we seem to know a bit more – and the bottom line is that we may have certain genes that can be turned on or off during human development in utero. When a pregnant women does not gain enough weight or gains too much weight during pregnancy, something happens genetically that later puts her child more at risk to be obese as an adult than children of women who gain the recommended amount of weight during their pregnancy.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has more resources to help you learn about healthy weight gain during pregnancy.