Drinking alcohol when trying to fall pregnant could increase child’s risk of obesity

Planning to have a baby? New research has put forward another reason for mums-to-be to avoid alcohol – to minimise the chance of your baby becoming obese later in life.

Researchers from the University of Queensland looked at how alcohol exposure affects an egg that has just been fertilised. They found that exposure to alcohol around the time of conception made male children more likely to follow a high fat diet.

Professor Karen Moritz from the University of Queensland said: “Our results highlight that alcohol consumption, even prior to a fertilised egg implanting in the uterus, can have lifelong consequences for the metabolic health of offspring.”


She said it “indicated the reward pathway in the brain was altered by alcohol exposure around conception.”

Professor Moritz said this and another related study found that the sons of mums who drunk alcohol around the time of conception had five per cent more body fat than those whose mothers had not drunk alcohol. They were also more likely to have higher fat mass around their abdomen, leading to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.