UCLA Logo Low birth weight has been associated with a range of clinical conditions, one of it is obesity. Now, a team from the University of California (UCLA) has shown that babies weighing less could combat obesity by consuming moderate proportions of calories during infancy.

For the research, rodent animal models were used and a scenario replicating the effects of low calorie intake during conception was created. According to the outcomes, low-birth weight mice which were exposed to fewer calories as infants seemingly grew up as lean and active adults. This was not the case with their counterparts who were fed high amounts of calories.

“This study shows that if we match the level of caloric consumption after birth to the same level that the growth-restricted baby received in the womb, it results in a lean body type. However, if there is a mismatch where the baby is growth-restricted at birth but exposed to plenty of calories after birth, then that leads to obesity,” quoted the lead author, Dr. Sherin Devaskar, professor of pediatrics and executive chair of the department of pediatrics at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.

The scientists asserted that early dietary interventions play a significant role in deciding the long-term effects taking place in the body. However, the team cautioned that this report does not recommend low nutrition to kids in any way. Mothers need to consult their doctors regarding the feeding phases of their children.

Further trials to see if low calorie intake could reduce risk for diseases like diabetes and obesity during old age are underway. The report is published in the June issue of the journal, Diabetes.