Quitting smoking, ceasing alcohol intake, and taking prenatal vitamins are just a few of the healthy lifestyle behaviors you should start practicing as soon as you become pregnant. Your OB-GYN or doctor will also suggest that you start eating healthy, whole foods to provide both you and your baby with plenty of nutrients. But, what if you usually don’t have time to cook? How can you survive on fast food while ensuring that your baby gets the vitamins and minerals they need for development?
According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Adelaide, pregnant moms who consume junk food throughout their pregnancies may be programming their babies to become addicted to unhealthy, high-fat, high-sugar diets by the time they’re ready to eat solid foods. Plus, moms could be affecting how their babies will respond to healthier foods later in life, meaning their bodies may not be able to benefit from or respond to the vitamins and minerals present in whole, nutritious foods.
Lead study author Dr. Bev Mühlhäusler says that children who are born to mothers who eat junk-food diets generally need to eat higher amounts of sugar and fat in order to feel satisfied. As a result, these children tend to overeat and increase their consumption of junk foods, and are put at higher risk for obesity.
Mühlhäusler also goes on to say that even if moms eat junk food during pregnancy with hopes of keeping junk food away from their babies after they’re born, their babies will still have a predisposition for obesity, overeating, and making unhealthy food choices. As a result, those particular children will struggle with being able to maintain healthy body weights well into adulthood.
The takeaway message is that pregnant women should avoid eating junk food at all costs throughout pregnancy for the best possible outcome in regards to the health of their children. A nutritious diet can also increase the chances for a healthier pregnancy outcome with fewer complications.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
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