New study: Drinking juice, soda in pregnancy can give child weight problems later

We know not to drink alcohol during pregnancy, right? The research on that has been clear for decades. Of course, new research out of the University of California Riverside is showing that the effects of alcohol on pregnancy last not just for the child born, but for their children’s children.

Now a new study out of Harvard University and funded by the National Institutes of Health followed 1,078 mother-child pairs from pregnancy through mid-childhood (usually between 6 and 10 years old). It used a food questionnaire to ask moms about their what they were drinking, specifically soda, diet sodas, juice and water.

What you drink in pregnancy can have lasting effects on your children. Photos.com

What it found was that mothers who drank sugar sweetened beverages in the second trimester of pregnancy had children with higher body mass index, fat mass index and waist circumference than those that did not. Those rates went up with each additional sugary beverage a mom consumed.

Researchers also tried to make sure that it was the sugary beverage and not something like what the mom was eating, her weight or what the child was eating and drinking. Researchers saw the weight gain in children even if the children themselves did not consume sugary drinks. A mother’s own body mass index didn’t seem to make a difference nor did other foods consumed. Even more interesting is that even though diet sodas have been linked to weight gain, they did not cause the weight gain in the kids that the sugary drinks did.

Also researchers were able to hone in on the second trimester as being the one that caused the change, not the first trimester.

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