Researchers found that girls who have overweight or obese mothers may be more likely than other to follow the same path the mothers do.

They followed 571 children of European heritage from New Zealand. They regularly monitored them from birth to the age of 7 years. Their percentage body fat was an indicator of overweight and obesity that has been calculated at the age of three and a half and seven. Factors like time spent in front of the TV and the amount of physical activity the children were involved with were also taken into account.

The study results showed that children who had gained a high percentage body fat by the age of 3½ were more likely to be obese at the age of 7 than those with low percentage body fat. Further more, having a mother who was overweight or obese, being a girl and spending a lot of time in front of the TV were all factors associated with the chances of becoming obese.

Children with overweight and obese mothers had around 4% more body fat than the children whose mothers were of normal weight. However, it is still not clear what exactly makes them more predisposed to obesity - genes, exposure to specific factors during pregnancy or shared lifestyles.