For the study, the researchers genetically developed a line of mice, where they manipulated the hormone system that controls release of cortisol which is a stress hormone - to increase the anxiety levels of pregnant mothers during their third trimester, as mentioned in the Cell Metabolism journal.
As the eating habits of mice were measured, it was observed that mice born to stressed mothers tend to eat large amounts of food during short windows of time. But this surfaced only when they were placed in a stressful situation and where the researchers restricted their access to food.
"The price we pay later in life - whether it's psychiatric disorders, metabolic syndromes, or heart-related illnesses - is heavily impacted by the way your brain was programmed early in life," said Alon Chen, a neurobiologist at the institute.
The research also mentions that, when these young mice were put on a diet with "balanced" levels of nutrients such as Vitamin B12 and folate, the researchers were able to prevent their binge eating. The inference of the research is to avoid any type of stressful situation as much as possible during pregnancy as binge eating-related non genetic tags on their DNA.