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The diet and lifestyle choices you made 30 years ago could be shaping the behavior of your grandchildren to this day. Should we be worried?

According to a new Australian study, eating fatty or sugary foods while pregnant will increase the risk of obesity in not only your children, but also their children.

We have known for some time about the direct link between the health of a pregnant mother and her child, but this study reveals it is a “three-generational footprint”.

According to Dr Beverly Mühlhäusler, from the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Adelaide, and Professor Margaret Morris, the head of Pharmacology at the University of NSW, there is a strong link between the grandmother’s lifestyle choices and the wellbeing of her grandchild.

Eating habits during pregnancy can unintentionally precondition a child. Eating fatty or sugary foods means the child could not only store fats more easily, but even prefer foods high in saturated fats and sugar.

If that child is a girl, the eggs in her developing reproductive system will potentially also take on these characteristics.

Professor Morris sums it up simply: “In many respects, you are what your grandmother ate”.

For those of us soon to be grandparents, this news offers some invaluable advice to pass on to new mothers: a little dietary care today – in addition to regular vitamin level checkups – will go a long, long way.

Of course, biology is just one factor of many when it comes to the influence we have on our grandchildren. Regardless of our past decisions, there is no shortage of ways we can help raise a healthy, happy extended family in the here and now.


If you had to do it again, would you have eaten differently? What advice would you give to pregnant mothers today?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. well no problems with mine, I had cravings for Lemons and none of them will eat lemon now. Perhaps the reverse is true

    1 REPLY
    • I drank tea all my life and hated coffee. Nothing changed during my first pregnancy (daughter). The second time I was pregnant I went off tea and just wanted coffee. (Son) I have not idea why and now either or is fine but still predominately coffee.

  2. I don’t have fat grandkids, and all are healthy. The only weird thing about my pregnancy was that I ate lettuce sandwiches throughout all of them. I HATE lettuce in any form ….. Except when pregnant.

  3. Have 6 grandaughters 1 grandson none r obese 2 have slight weight probs.the rest r very slim l am short and fat what a lot of rot !

  4. No I wouldn’t change anything I ate back then. I had a pretty healthy diet, wasn’t obese! Didn’t smoke or have alcohol! Today the problems are very different I guess. A lot of babies born to drug affected mothers, to a lesser degree smokers, and Alcohol consumption. But a lot more women are aware of what they can eat or not eat, today. A lot who refuse to colour their hair while pregnant! The message today makes most woman aware of potential dangers while pregnant. They have to make the choice whether they will follow all the guidelines for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby

  5. What an insulting remark what else is our generation going to get kicked with because WE ate healthier than everyone does NOW back then there was not as much fast food in fact it was healthier than now and the food we ate didn’t have the additives it has now What a load of crap
    My kids and my grandkids are NOT fat

  6. Oh god I hope my son doesn’t read this, I’m blamed for everything including the damn air he breathes in.

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