If a new study out of Australia is true, pregnant women everywhere—and their offspring—are in deep trouble! According to the findings, moms who eat junk food while pregnant or breastfeeding have already turned their babies into junk food addicts, jonesing for fat and sugar before they can even ask for it.
I know what you're thinking: I thought I was supposed to be eating for two? Sadly, when you're pregnant, you only need an extra 150 to 200 calories a day in the first trimester (the equivalent of a 6 oz. low-fat yogurt) and 300 calories a day in the second and third (about half a sandwich and a glass of skim milk).
Whether you're craving something sweet, sour, or tart, you're not alone! Even celebrities, can't resist cheating on their usually-strict diets. How could we forget Jessica Simpson's "Slutty Brownies," the super-decadent splurge she gave into with her first pregnancy— before she joined Weight Watchers.
Confession time: I, too, had severe pregnancy cravings. Besides healthy fruits, I wanted chocolate, ice cream, and donuts (which I normally never ate)! And I needed vinegar on everything—balsamic vinegar on salads and vegetables and salt and vinegar potato chips (another thing I never ate until I was pregnant, but that pregnancy craving seems to have lingered post-baby. Oops!).
While the occasional indulgence is fine (mmm...a chocolate chip cookie), researchers warn that a mom's overly-active pregnancy cravings can cause overeating, food addiction and obesity in your unborn child. Like we need more things to feel guilty about before the baby's even born!
The good news is that research also shows that many of the long-term health problems associated with junk food addictions can be avoided if the child has a healthy diet once weaned from a junk-food junkie mom. Though the predisposition for loving sweets and fatty foods will always be there for the child, a healthy body weight can be maintained through proper diet and exercise. So if you're going to have that extra scoop of Ben & Jerry's Red Velvet Cake ice cream, be prepared to be active with your family, and to show your child that veggies can be yummy too!
Tell us what you think: What food cravings are you having? Do you believe eating junk food while pregnant can cause your child to be a junk food addict? Leave your comments below.
Image of junk food courtesy of Shutterstock.