In 2007, the heaviest woman ever to give birth weighed in at 532 pounds, and it took 30 doctors to perform the C-section.
While she's an extreme example of what's happening across North America, the average weight for a 20- to 29-year-old woman (average age for first birth is 25) jumped nearly 29 pounds between 1960 and 2002.
Since then, the weight-gain epidemic has spread even more widely. That's because a mom's life-long nutritional habits have a huge influence on whether her children grow up to be obese or not!
And it's not just that she's setting a poor example (nurture).
New lab studies reveal that eating a high-fat diet blocks expression of a gene called Pomc. That epigenetic change (nature) affects signaling pathways in the mother's brain that control everything from blood sugar levels to appetite.
As those changes to a mom's genes get passed down, it takes her kids longer to feel full, and they eat more! (And guys, listen up! Chances are how you live today also affects how your children will live tomorrow!)
So, to win the war against the current obesity epidemic-and protect future generations: Stop eating saturated and trans fats in red meat and processed foods; eliminate fried foods, sugars and added syrups from your plate; get moving (a minimum of 30 minutes added physical activity a day); and aim to walk 10,000 step daily. Then the legacy you leave your children will be a happier, healthier life.
What could be better?
© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
© King Features Syndicate