Sugary diet in pregnancy contributes heart disease in children later on

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When the mother has a high intake of fructose in her diet throughout pregnancy, her offspring is more at risk of developing adult obesity, high blood pressure and metabolic dysfunction

For expecting women, sacrificing certain things in the name of your unborn baby’s health is hard enough, but for those with sweet teeth and make dietary concessions once in a while, this next story will hurt.

Experts say that eating processes sugary food and drinks high in fructose during pregnancy increases the risk of the baby having heart disease later in life, The Daily Mail reported.

“We found that when the mother has a high intake of fructose in her diet throughout pregnancy, her offspring is more at risk of developing adult obesity, high blood pressure and metabolic dysfunction, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” said lead researcher Antonio Saad, from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Not only that, this effect is more pronounced in female offspring.

The first conducted the study with pregnant mice: Half were given fructose-sweetened water, mimicking the sugar levels in sodas, while a control group were given just water for the duration of their pregnancies.

“Otherwise, the diets were the same for both the water and fructose groups,” the report said. “After weaning, the pups were given water and a normal mouse diet, and evaluated after a year.”

The researchers measured the result through a CT scan. They also conducted blood tests to measure glucose concentrations, insulin, total cholesterol, triglycerides and leptin.

“The male and female offspring born to those mice who only drank water sweetened with fructose were more likely to show higher peak glucose levels and higher blood pressure.”

On the other hand, female offspring were heavier and had higher percentages of abdominal fat tissue, liver fat and insulin resistance.

They also had lower concentrations leptin—the hormone which tells the body whether or not it’s full—compared to offspring born to mice who drank just water.

“None of the mice showed any differences in total cholesterol or triglycerides, regardless of group or gender.”

READ: Gestational diabetes: Risks on mother and baby 

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