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High-Fat Diet During Pregnancy Bad for Baby

Dec. 17, 2014|776 views
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Common sense suggests that eating a high-fat diet is not a great way to maintain a healthy body weight. But new research suggests that it may also affect your baby, if you consume a high-fat diet during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It’s too soon to be sure, but research on animals suggests that a mother’s high-fat diet may set her offspring up for obesity and diabetes. Even worse, though, such a diet may also affect the cognitive abilities of the offspring.

"We know that high-fat diets are tied to increased risk for metabolic syndrome and obesity, which in turn are associated with decreased brain function," said Obesity Society spokesperson, Kelly Allison, PhD., in a press release. “However, this is a rare study measuring the direct effect of high-fat diets of pregnant rats on the brain function of their offspring, and it provides further incentive for childbearing women to eat a varied and nutritious diet.”

The findings were presented at an annual national meeting of the Obesity Society, held in Boston, Massachusetts recently. Another study presented at the meeting followed boys and girls for the first six years of life. Surprisingly, results indicate that boys appear to be more susceptible to the detrimental effects of mothers’ obesity than girls. “Boys born to women with obesity have on average 4 to 5% higher body fat from age two to six years as compared to boys born to lean or overweight mothers,” said Aline Andres, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Personally, I think you can’t go wrong with a plant-based, whole-foods diet that features fish, olive oil, lean protein and limited simple carbohydrates.

Obesity Society. "Research suggests high-fat diets during pregnancy could influence brain functioning, behavior of children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2014. .


Tags:  prevention, pregnancy, healthy fats, obesity, genetics