Fat Kids, Mom Ate Junk

A new study on rats has determined that mothers who eat junk food while pregnant or breastfeeding have obesity-prone children. WebMD reports:
"The maternal diet seems to influence and trigger events early in the life of their offspring," study researcher Stephanie Bayol, PhD, tells WebMD. "We found that by the end of their adolescence, the offspring from the junk-food-fed animals had increased blood sugar, blood fat, and decreased insulin sensitivity — all of which are associated with overweight and diabetes."

Bayol and colleagues at London's Royal Veterinary College gave pregnant rats normal rat chow. But they also gave them free access to cookies, chocolate, doughnuts, muffins, potato chips, candy, and cheese.

In earlier studies, they showed that the offspring of these rats liked high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar foods better than other rats. But the new studies show that even when never fed junk food themselves, the rats whose mothers ate junk food during pregnancy grew up fatter than normal rats.

"Their fat cells were larger, which might make them more prone to obesity and might make it harder for them to lose weight," Bayol says. "So there were lasting effects from their mother's consumption of junk food, even if they were not fed junk food after weaning."
There’s been a lot of news about diet and pregnancy lately, especially when it comes to the baby’s long term health. Check it out:
Seems like a good reason to ALWAYS eat healthy.
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diane lassen - July 22, 2008 8:00 AM

I am an RN specializing in women's health as well as a health counselor, and I spend most of my days with pregnant ladies. I find it very difficult to impress upon them the need to not only avoid the obvious bad things like cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine, but also junk foods, processed foods etc. I do everything I can to encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables, to include beans and seeds and nuts in the diet, but I have to admit, they are slow to jump on board. Oh, I have a handful of women who have healthy eating habits to start off, but the vast majority do not. Articles like this hopefully will give them incentive to care about what they eat while they are growing a baby!
thanks for the resources.
Diane Lassen, RN, HHC

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