Scientists at Auckland University’s Liggins Institute and the Crown Research Institute AgResearch have helped find a link between a woman’s diet during pregnancy and her child’s chances of becoming overweight. Professor Peter Gluckman, who led the New Zealand and Singapore arms of the Southampton University study, said the study proved the path to obesity, diabetes, or heart disease started before a child was born. “It’s a major breakthrough … Frankly, it’s the biggest, most important finding I’ve ever made as the result of 15 years’ work,” Gluckman said. Findings revealed a mother’s diet during pregnancy could alter her child’s DNA, through a process called epigenetic change, which could lead to her child putting on extra weight later in life. The study found there was something in a women’s diet, particularly during the first third of a pregnancy that was of crucial importance.