The bacteria and viruses a baby inherit from its mother play a crucial role in determining the child’s health in later life, according to research that could lead to new interventions to tackle conditions like obesity, allergies and colic.
If your mother was obese, there is a good chance you will be obese too. But why do obese mothers tend to raise obese children?
It could be because the children ate the same unhealthy diet as their mothers, or they inherited genes that predispose them to weight gain. But a third possibility is gaining favour in research circles that points the blame at the microorganisms a child inherits during birth, breastfeeding and early infancy.