Study links fast-food diet during pregnancy with baby’s health

Milk proteins are hugely important for newborn development but the quality was found to be poor in mouse mothers eating the high fat, high sugar diet: Study

A diet high in sugar and fat such as burgers, fries and fizzy drinks can negatively affect a new mother’s breast milk and baby’s health even before the child is conceived.

The new study, by St John’s College, University of Cambridge, using lab mice has found that even relatively short-term consumption of a fast food diet impacts women’s health, reducing their ability to produce nutritional breast milk after giving birth. This can affect the newborn’s wellbeing, as well as increasing the risk of both mother and child developing potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes in later life.

Even mothers who appear to be a healthy weight can be suffering from hidden issues such as a fatty liver which may be seen in people who are overweight or obese from eating a diet heavy in processed foods, which tend to be high in fat and sugar. This can lead to advanced scarring (cirrhosis) and liver failure.

According to the study, just over half of women (52.7%) in many populations around the world are overweight or obese when they conceive, leading to problems in both achieving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

image credit- shutterstock

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