Posts Tagged ‘ Childhood Obesity ’

Pregnancy Weight Gain: Too Much OR Too Little Could Lead to Childhood Obesity!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

File under Pregnant Women Just Can’t Catch a Break! It seems pregnant women need to follow the message from Goldie Locks and the Three Bears: You don’t want to be eating too much food or two little food, you want to be eating just the right amount—unless you want your kids to be overweight.

You probably already know that research says that if you gorge yourself on junk food while you’re pregnant, your child has a bigger chance of getting addicted to junk food, and to grow up to be obese. But now a new study in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which observed 4,000 pregnant women and their children, says that eating too little while pregnant can have the same effect. So as much as it is important to curb your crazy pregnancy cravings (but do let yourself indulge in some!), you don’t want to overdo it with a restrictive diet while you’re pregnant either.

Not only do you need to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need to have the energy to carry your baby, but he or she needs a healthy diet in utero as well. Otherwise, there could be long-lasting consequences to the child’s metabolism, appetite control, and fat storage. So you could be contributing to childhood obesity before you even have your baby!

According to the study, children of women who were a healthy weight before getting pregnant ended up being affected the most by what their moms ate while pregnant. A slim woman who ate too much in pregnancy was 80 percent more likely to have a heavy child than one who ate the right amount. That may not surprise you. But a woman who was a healthy weight before pregnancy, who ate too little, was still 63 percent more likely to have an overweight or obese child. Say what? It seems virtually impossible to know how much to eat!

Talk to your doctor about what is the right amount of weight gain for you, as each woman is different, but here are some general guidelines. If you were a normal weight before pregnancy, a 25-35 pound weight gain is best. If you were underweight, you should gain 28-40 pounds. If you were overweight, you should only gain 15-25 pounds. If you were obese, 15 pounds is sufficient, and if you are carrying twins, aim to gain 35-45 pounds.

How much will you gain? Check out our pregnancy weight gain calculator!

Pregnancy weight gain: What’s normal, what’s not?

TELL US: How much weight did you gain while pregnant?

Image of child on scale courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Is Your Unborn Child Already a Junk Food Junkie?

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Put down those Doritos and read this! The foods you’re eating during pregnancy and while breast feeding are shaping the way that your unborn child will eat for years to come, according to a new study. That’s right—bad eating habits form in utero.

Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research organization in Philadelphia, found that babies’ taste buds are directly linked to what their moms ate while pregnant with them. So if you’re eating a diverse and varied diet, your child will eventually be a less picky eater, who is open to trying new things. Your good habits are being passed down to them, and that will show in how they eat as toddlers and later on as adults.

But your bad habits are being passed down as well. A study conducted at the University of Adelaide in South Australia found that if you are eating sugary or fatty foods, your child will actually have cravings for those foods and form an emotional attachment to them. Moms who ate Froot Loops, Cheetos and Nutella during pregnancy had children that built up a tolerance for those foods, so that they needed more of them to get the same gratification from eating them. That is how researchers believe the US’ obesity epidemic all started (70 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese).

According to the New York Times, “researchers believe that the taste preferences that develop at crucial periods during infancy have lasting effects for life. In fact, changing food preferences beyond toddlerhood appears to be extremely difficult.” So when you tell people you’re “eating for two,” you really are—not the amount of calories for two people, but you are choosing what your baby will be eating for the rest of his or her life. Just think about that the next time you have a craving! Of course it’s fine to indulge every now and again (here are some ideas for doing that the smart way), but know that your eating habits do have long-term effects on your little one, so choose your meals wisely!

Test your Pregnancy Nutrition IQ here.

TELL US: What foods have you cut out while you’re pregnant? What are your healthy indulgences?

Image of pregnant woman eating a salad courtesy of Shutterstock.

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