Mom’s fatty-food cravings bad for babies

By • Published: October 2nd, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Who’s up for three scoops of rocky road with rainbow sprinkles and pickles?

That may not be the most common order at the ice cream parlor, but women have craved weirder things during pregnancy. Now New Zealand researchers say there’s added evidence that not all cravings are good for the baby on board.

Women who indulge in too much high-fat food during pregnancy could be putting their children at risk for early puberty. That puts children, especially girls, in danger of facing chronic health problems such as obesity when they grow up.

In a study in rats, the University of Auckland scientists found that babies born to fatty-food eaters hit puberty earlier and tended to have more body fat as adults than rodents born to moms kept on normal-fat diets. For the high-fat babies, sticking to a healthy diet after birth wasn’t enough to change their early puberty risks, either.

Eating junk food during pregnancy also seems to pose big risks for baby. A recent study by British researchers shows that pregnant rats allowed to snack on junk food were more likely to have babies destined to pack on extra pounds. Researchers found that these junk-food babies gained weight in adulthood even if they didn’t eat junk food themselves.

For mommies-to-be who salivate at the thought of greasy cheeseburgers and fudge-drenched sundaes, it may be time to try a new midnight snack. Because apparently, what happens in the womb, doesn’t stay in the womb.