A new study suggests that mothers with obesity during pregnancy could increase the risk of their children developing cardiac problems in later life. In the study, published in The Journal of Physiology, researchers from the University of Colorado studied pregnant mice and the hearts of each mouse’s fetus. They observed that the hearts of fetuses of obese female mice were larger, weighed more, had thicker walls and showed signs of inflammation. These changes impair how efficiently the heart contracts and pumps blood around the body. Obesity has become a common problem, affecting almost one third of women of childbearing age. While further research is needed looking at obesity in human mothers and later cardiovascular disease in their offspring, it suggests healthcare professionals offer treatments and nutritional advice for mothers and women looking to become pregnant.