According to a recent study on pregnant rats, it has been found that mothers who eat junk food during pregnancy and while breastfeeding will have obesity-prone children. The effects seem to be stronger for female offspring than for males. Males seem to use a different molecular machinery to regulate fat storage than do females.
Women’s diets during pregnancy and breastfeeding affect their children’s food preferences. It has been found that by the end of their adolescence, the offspring from the junk-food-fed rats had increased blood sugar, blood fat, and decreased insulin sensitivity, all of which are associated with overweight and diabetes.
It has also been found that women who smoke during pregnancy have children who are heavier, so maternal patterns can affect a child’s weight not only till birth but also after that. Kids who are exclusively breastfed, with no solid foods until they are 6 months old tend to consume a lot more different foods than other children, because through breast milk, they get exposed to the different foods their mothers eat.