Pregnant Woman’s Diet Can Affect Childhood Obesity

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A new study published recently in the journal Diabetes has shown that what a woman eats when she is pregnant can affect her child’s risk of obesity, regardless of how fat or thin she is, and what her baby weighs at birth.

According to Dr. Jill Hamilton, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, emerging research shows pregnant women with high cholesterol or fatty acid levels are more likely to have children who later become obese and develop type 2 diabetes.

“Some of these molecules can be transmitted to the baby and influence how the baby develops,” Hamilton said. “It may impact on programming pathways in the brain related to appetite.”

This new research has really made me stop and think about what I am putting in my mouth, especially since my cravings have been towards greasy, junky food (a total different experience than with my first, where I ate lots of fruit and grains). I have to make a conscious effort to eat a my fruits and veggies every day. Although, I still give in to cravings, I do not let them rule my diet.

Here are some tips for healthy eating during your pregnancy.

* Fine-tune your diet, even if you already eat well. Make sure that you are eating foods that are good sources of protein, iron, folic acid and calcium.

* Skip sushi, alcohol, and soft cheeses.

* Start taking a prenatal vitamin-mineral supplement.

* Don’t diet while you’re pregnant.

* Gain weight gradually; eating for two does not mean that you double the calories that you take in. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about how much weight you should gain.

* Eat frequent, smaller meals if you like. This well especially help in the third trimester, when baby is crowding you.

* Treat yourself to something sweet on occasion. Give in to cravings…sometimes. Moderation is key.

Have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

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May 2011
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