Fighting Childhood Obesity

Pregnancy Pointers

Want your child to scarf down healthy fare rather than junk food? During pregnancy, eat nutritious foods yourself. Scientists believe that flavors from the diet of moms-to-be are transferred to the amniotic fluid, thus influencing the taste buds of unborn babies. In one study, the infants of mothers who consumed carrot juice often during pregnancy ate three times more carrot-flavored cereal than infants whose moms drank no carrot juice while expecting.

Also, sticking to a sensible diet during these crucial nine months can help ensure that your baby is born at a healthy weight. Some studies show that babies born too big (over 9 pounds) or too small (under 5 pounds) have an increased risk of being overweight later on, perhaps because overnourishment or undernourishment in the womb causes babies to store fat more readily.

A weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds is recommended for women who start their pregnancy at a normal weight. But women who are already overweight should put on only 15 to 25 pounds, says Siobhan Dolan, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Too much weight gain can also cause gestational diabetes, among other complications, which increases the likelihood of having an oversized baby.

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