Babies are what their mothers eat

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, In The News

If you spent your life shunning fruits and vegetables, you might want to seriously reassess that stance on healthy foods before becoming pregnant. According to British researchers, a mother's diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding directly affects the child's risk of obesity, elevated cholesterol, and blood sugar levels for the rest of their life.

In the study, researchers fed one group of rats a diet of donuts, muffins, cookies, chips and sweets while they were pregnant and nursing their young. Another group was fed a regular, healthy diet. When comparing the two groups, researchers found the babies from the junk food momma rats had higher levels of cholesterol, triglycerides,glucose, and insulin and were fatter through adolescence and adulthood that the rats born of mothers who ate healthily.

And while it's true that rats aren't human (although some humans can be rats!) according to Neil Stickland, the study's co-author, "Humans share a number of fundamental biological systems with rats, so there is good reason to assume the effects we see in rats may be repeated in humans. Our research certainly tallies with epidemiological studies linking children's weight to that of their parents."

Does this mean pregnant woman stress over a couple chocolate chip cookies and an occasional hamburger? Of course not! But knowing the constant craving for deep fried Snickers bars isn't exactly doing the wee one any favors might be the push needed to choose a juicy orange or calcium-building serving of yogurt instead.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.