Washington, February 22
The findings of a recent study suggest that an increased risk of obesity and excess body fat in children, especially during late-childhood can be associated with a low-quality diet during their mother’s pregnancy, which is high in foods and food components associated with chronic inflammation during pregnancy.
The findings were published in the open-access journal BMC Medicine.
Researchers from University College Dublin, Ireland, found that children of mothers, who ate a higher quality diet, low in inflammation-associated foods, during pregnancy, had a lower risk of obesity and lower body fat levels in late-childhood than children whose mothers ate a lower quality diet, high in inflammation-associated foods, while pregnant. This association was not observed in early or mid-childhood.
Ling-Wei Chen, the corresponding author said: “Obesity in childhood often carries on into adulthood and is associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Mounting evidence suggests that maternal diet influences pregnancy and birth outcomes and points to the first one thousand days of a child’s life, from conception to two years old, as a critical period for preventing childhood obesity. Our research indicates that children born to mothers who eat a low-quality diet, high in inflammation-associated foods, during pregnancy may be more likely to have obesity or excess body fat in late childhood than those born to mothers who eat a high-quality diet low in inflammation-associated foods.”
To examine the effects of maternal diet on the likelihood of childhood obesity and excess body fat, the authors analysed data collected from 16,295 mother-child pairs in seven European birth cohort studies, from Ireland, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Poland, which are involved in the ALPHABET consortium. On average, mothers were 30 years old and had a healthy BMI. Mothers reported the food they ate before and during pregnancy. — ANI