High-Fat Diet Can Influence Child’S Weight
You are what you eat — and you also may be what your mother eats, according to recent research that ties third-trimester eating habits to your child’s weight.
Your pregnancy diet
In the beginning of your pregnancy, you may have felt lucky to hold down any food at all. However, if your morning sickness has faded, you may now have more control over what you eat. Even if you’re not vomiting every day, you may still suffer from food cravings and aversions that are strong enough to affect your diet.
Researchers from Yale School of Medicine and the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research in Germany collaborated on a study regarding maternal diets and offspring weights. Keep in mind that they did use mice instead of people (research like this on pregnant women just isn’t an option), but they feel that the results may be applicable to humans as well.
They discovered that mice who were fed a high-fat diet in the third trimester (and during lactation) had offspring with a different metabolic profile than their peers, whose mothers were fed a regular diet. This altered metabolic profile meant that they processed food differently — they had impaired connections in the brain neurons that regulate glucose, control how fat gets broken down and signal when they are hungry.
While these results weren’t entirely unexpected, researchers did reveal that the babies whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet during lactation only (and not pregnancy) had similar neurological changes. The researchers said that this would correlate to the third trimester in humans and that even moms-to-be of normal weight should watch what they eat.
Easier said than done, right? You really can’t apply research done on rodents directly to human beings, but it’s still a good reminder to eat a healthy, rounded diet, if possible, during pregnancy. As we’re finding out more and more, the prenatal environment is proving to be an important part of health.