Benjamin Cooper, Press Society
Researchers believe that children may develop type 2 diabetes more than triple if their mother is obese during pregnancy.
A study of 118,601 birth records for more than 60 years looked at the relationship between the BMI of pregnant women and the risk that their children develop their condition up to adulthood.
The study also found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was increased by 40% in overweight children than in obese women.
“This large cohort study… showed a significant relationship between the incidence of maternal BMI and diabetes in the offspring,” the authors said.
"This association can partly explain the connection between overweight or obesity during pregnancy and the cardiovascular diseases and mortality of the offspring – emphasizing the potential for intervention."
Previous studies have included maternal obesity and offspring diabetes, but only those who use medication are included, except for those who control the situation using only eating habits.
One theory is that high levels of glucose and insulin in the womb of a fatty woman can lead to the programming of "harmful metabolic results" in the offspring.
Body changes associated with obesity can also affect hormonal exposure and the unborn child's nutrients.
A study led by the University of Edinburgh, published in the European Journal of Diabetology, related to the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Database data on the Scotland Care Information Diabetes figures and also found that the proportion of obese mothers increased five times in 1950 and 2011.
Short-term complications of maternal obesity include gestational diabetes, increased babies and increased likelihood of caesarean section. In the long term, children born to obese mothers have a higher risk of premature heart disease and premature death.
The authors of the study found that further research is needed to explain the connection between the increased BMI of pregnant women and the advanced children of diabetes.
But there is an "urgent need" to find ways to prevent pregnant women and diabetes from obesity in their children, as data suggest that about half of all UK women aged 16-44 are overweight or obese, researchers said.
"Pregnancy is a potential time to intervene in health counseling," he added.