Kids who exercise can undo damage of maternal obesity

It's possible the detrimental health effects maternal obesity has on children can be avoided – or at least minimized – if kids are active during adolescence, a new study reports.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins used an animal model to examine rats whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet during pregnancy and nursing. Some of the offspring were given free access to running wheels in their cages, while others had to remain sedentary.

Despite the fact that both the active and sedentary rats weighed the same, the rats who exercised had fewer fat deposits – and also showed heightened sensitivity to hormones that regulate appetite, even after they stopped running on their exercise wheels.

Hunger hormones

To examine how exercise influenced appetite, the researchers injected the rats' brains with the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin when they were 14 weeks old. Leptin is secreted naturally by fat cells, helping the body to regulate hunger and maintain a healthy weight. In obese people, however, leptin levels are usually higher in the bloodstream, causing individuals to develop an insensitivity to the hormone. Eventually their brains stop responding to it, said study leader Kellie L. K. Tamashiro.

After being injected with leptin, the rats who had exercised tended to eat less, while the sedentary rats didn't show any changes in appetite.

"There was something about the exercise that improved their leptin sensitivity, even the equivalent in humans of years later," Tamashiro said.

Implications

The study suggests that exercise might enable human brains to respond better to lepton – and therefore help people to eat less, the researchers said.

Previous studies by Tamashiro and her team have shown that rats born to mothers fed high-fat diets can avoid obesity and related health disorders if the offpsring get normal levels of dietary fat right after birth.

"Our research suggests that efforts to increase activity in kids could have positive long-term effects, regardless of whether they continue to exercise into adulthood," Tamashiro concluded.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...