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Study: Eating Junk Food While Pregnant Makes Kids More Likely to Eat Junk Food

Here’s a controversial idea: pregnant mothers who eat junk food are more likely to birth children who eat junk food. The idea is that a mother’s food choice “sensitizes” the fetus to the taste and smell of those foods during pregnancy.

Read into this University of Colorado study some more and you’ll learn that this evidence actually comes from tests on the prenatal diet of mice, not humans, and the results go on to say that they aren’t sure how long those preferences last. So don’t be fooled into thinking your food choices affect brain development.

Robin Aronson, writing for Strollerderby, disagrees with the study, but still recommends pregnant mothers maintain a nutritious diet. “Eat a reasonable diet. If you make healthy choices like eating whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, it’ll be better for you and make it easier for you to lose weight postpartum. It’s also better for the baby, sure.”

From Strollerderby

21 Responses to “Study: Eating Junk Food While Pregnant Makes Kids More Likely to Eat Junk Food”

  1. Heather

    This makes a lot of sense, but I am not about to tell my pregnant sister in law to ignore those McDonalds food cravings. Pregnancy hormones are scary!!

  2. Charity S.

    I'm not sure if this is totally true. I ate junk food while pregnant, but my son hates it. He loves any type of veggies and fruits.

  3. ATC3

    If the widely known adage "You are what you eat" bears any truth, then a mother's fetus must carry that same association.

    Regardless of whether junk food consumption sensitizes a baby, the fundamental issue here is whether junk food should be consumed at all during pregnancy.

    If smoking is looked down upon during pregnancy, why isn't eating junk food? Of course, eating a McDonald's quarter pounder will not kill a fetus just like one cigarette can't either, but why expose the fetus to potentially harmful chemicals unnecessarily?

    What one eats is a conscious choice – but not for a fetus. Anything the mother chooses to eat can and, in all likelihood, will enter the developing fetus' system.

    Researchers like those described in the article may not ever be able to say definitively what detriment the chemicals in junk food pose, but ultimately, it should not matter whether it is sensitization or some other ailment. Basic common sense is enough to figure out that junk food should not be consumed during pregnancy.

    • shen

      all things (to a certain extent) in moderation. nobody should be policing pregnant women- there are enough burdens placed on them as it is. i don't think it's so much the junk food that a woman eats while pregnant as it is the diet and eating habits of that woman which would affect her child/ren.

  4. won

    Perhaps if a mother ate like that while pregnant, her child will like the same kinds of food. It may have more to do with what the mother serves than prenatal development. If a mom eats junk food while pregnant, she's likely serving it to her toddler, too.

  5. Abby

    How interesting!! I guess my mom had lots of sweets and coffee and tea and biscuits while having me! Gosh, a lesson for all future parents, eat fruits and veggies if you want your kids to like them! Including brussel sprouts and broccoli!

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  7. Alexis

    I Have Heard That When You Ea Not Necessarily Alot Of Junk Food Just Alot OF Food W| Sweet Coatings & Having Some Sugar Your Child COuld Possibly Come Out NOT LIking Sweets(Visa-Versa)

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