Why is America so Fat? – In Utero Big Macs

Q:  Why is America so fat?

A:  New research shows that moms who eat junk food (a diet high in sugar, fat and salt) are dooming their kids to a life of obesity, high blood sugar, high levels of circulating insulin, high triglycerides and/or cholesterol.

fat baby Why is America so Fat?   In Utero Big Macs

This study showed that a “maternal junk food diet promotes adiposity in offspringand brings on the earlier onset of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and/orhyperlipidemia”.

Even when the Big Mac eating mama’s kids (fyi, these were rat babies – it just seems that human moms have become a little reluctant to expose their unborn children to cigarette smoke, toxic chemicals and twinkies all in the name of science) were switched over to the “healthy” rat chow, they still had excess body-fat and enlarged fat cells.

Unluckiest of all were the Big Mac eating girl rats, who showed significantly higher levels of…

  • IGF-1,
  • IRS-1,
  • VEGF-A,
  • PPARã,
  • leptin,
  • adiponectin,
  • adipsin,
  • LPL,
  • Glut 1,
  • and Glut 3 mRNAexpression than their non-twinkie eating sisters.

The male rats got off a little bit easier. They showed elevated levels of only IRS-1, VEGF-A, Glut 4 and LPL, when compared to their carrot eating brothers. No idea why there was a difference between the males and females.

The study’s authors concluded that, “a maternal junk food diet promotes adiposity in offspring and the earlier onset of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and/orhyperlipidemia. Male and female offspring also display a different metabolic, cellular and molecular response to junk-food-diet induced adiposity”.

OBESE KID MCDONALDS Why is America so Fat?   In Utero Big Macs

What does this mean?

First off, let’s not blame it all on Mom – Mom has it hard enough without this kind of guilt being dumped in their laps.

However, this study does show that the 9 month gestational period has an enormous effect on the rest of the baby’s life. When a mom-to-be succumbs to the lure of the Golden Arches, she may be setting her unborn child up for a lifetime of obesity, health problems, societal stigma, stress, depression, etc…

The list goes on and on.

To avoid these problems, Mom NEEDS to eat healthy if she wants healthy babies.

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.


  1. Diane Kress, RD CDE

    August 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    The goal in pregnancy is to provide the mother-to-be and baby with excellent nutrition, for the baby to be born at its healthy weight (babies born to mothers with uncontrolled Gestational Diabetes can have birthweights in excess of 9 pounds) and for the mother to end the pregnancy at a very reasonable weight.

    Babies born to parents with the genes for Metabolism B (which is over 50% of the population), are born with a genetic predisposition to overproduce insulin, a fat-gain hormone. They didn’t cause this metabolism, they were born with the potential for it!

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  3. Nancy

    March 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Hm, wonder what it is about the baby rat girls that affected them more adversely…

  4. L

    March 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Smoking and drinking during pregnancy should be illegal-period. If you can’t quit for 9 months, don’t have children. It’s so unfair to these babies who have no choice in the matter, that may grow up with health and mental problems because of a mothers selfishness.

  5. Lamarr

    October 21, 2010 at 1:54 am

    As this is so true, there has to be a war on these behaviors. Let’s devise a plan that will require each reader with a heart for changing lives to put our heads together and be effective in educating and making a tangible difference.

  6. Jonathan

    August 27, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Once again, America is #1!

  7. MizFit

    July 6, 2008 at 12:53 pm


    guess I was in the celeb.minority (well not that Im the celeb—but you know what I mean :))