Reducing obesity risk may begin in utero

Researchers have discovered that a protein called SIRT1 can rewrite a fetus’s histone code, increasing the “epigenetic likelihood” of being overweight or obese throughout life.

“We are finding that the cycle of obesity may begin in the womb,” says lead author Dr Kjersti Aagaard.

A high fat diet chemically modifies the structure of the developing fetus’s genetic material, altering key regulators of fat and glucose metabolism.

The team studied three groups of pregnant non-human primates: one group ate a healthy diet containing 13% fat; another ate a diet comprised of 35% fat; the