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In utero factors shape responses to stress, sugar

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10:45am, July 12, 2006

From Boston, at a meeting of the Endocrine Society

Abnormal conditions during pregnancy can lead in unexpected ways to physiological problems in children once they reach adulthood, two new studies suggest.

In the 1960s, British obstetricians encouraged pregnant women to eat a meat-heavy, low-carbohydrate diet. At the time, it was thought that this diet might prevent preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy that limits the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.

Hundreds of mothers' meticulous records, preserved by one such obstetrician in Motherwell, Scotland, contain detailed data about what kinds and quantities of food they ate during pregnancy.

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