A Bad Pregnancy Diet Can Mess Up Your Baby’s Emotions
Eating high-fat food could get you a high-anxiety baby.
The phrase “eating for two” could have a whole new meaning beyond physical health.
A study conducted at the National Primate Research Center, in Beaverton, Oregon, found that the babies of monkeys who ate a high-fat diet were more anxious and stressed than were babies whose mother at a healthy diet.
Although the research was conducted on monkeys, it does have “scary” implications for human mothers-to-be because there are many similarities between human and primate physiology, researcher Kevin Grove told the website www.LiveScience.com.
Researchers tracked monkeys whose mothers ate diets that had 35 percent fat, and monkeys whose moms ate a lower-fat diet (13 percent.) When the babies were a month old, lead researchers Elinor Sullivan and her colleagues put all the babies in stressful situations: an unknown human standing near their cage and presenting them with unfamiliar toys. Of the animals tested, 78 percent whose mothers ate high-fat diets reacted in an anxious or aggressive way. Among the monkeys whose moms had low-fat diet, only 11 percent had a negative reaction.
Even more surprising, the researchers said it wasn’t obesity that affected the child, but the high fat diet. Mothers who were average weight, but had a bad diet, transmitted anxiety and stress to their child. Grove told LiveScience that while the damage seemed to be done by the time the mothers gave birth, the symptoms could be reduced if a mother switched to a better diet during pregnancy. (livescience)
Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.