Dieting During Pregnancy Has Weird Effect on Babies

pregnantNo woman wants to go overboard and gain a ton of weight during pregnancy if she can help it, but there are definitely a few who take things to extremes as far as keeping the number on the scale in check goes. And yes -- I'm talking about gals who try and diet while they are supposed to be "eating for two." Seriously -- what's up with that?

And I'm not talking about women who try and eat healthy so their babies get the right nutrients and so they can keep their weight within the recommended 25- to 35-pound gaining range. I'm referring to those who actually restrict their food intake and refuse to give into cravings out of pure vanity. And aside from appearing very shallow (and pretty ridiculous) pregnancy "dieters" actually may be setting their baby up to be fat.

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A new study from Britain suggests that babies born to women who diet while pregnant have a greater risk of developing diabetes or becoming obese. Researchers believe that pregnant women who restrict their food intake experience changes to DNA structure that can alter the genes that are involved in food intake and glucose production in their offspring. They even think this may be why some twins develop diabetes down the road -- because they didn't get enough food while in utero.

Didn't. Get. Enough. Food. Wait a minute -- did I hear that right? Because if these correlations are true, then that gives moms-to-be one more good reason to indulge and enjoy themselves a little bit more while pregnant. (Ha! I knew that devouring bagels and cream cheese with tomato every single day of my pregnancy was a good thing.)

The health of your baby should always be the first thing on your mind no matter what you are consuming during your pregnancy, but sometimes it can be hard to justify enjoying a delicious treat simply because you have a baby bump. I know firsthand -- because I got nasty eye rolls (more than once) from co-workers after my big, jolly pregnant self inhaled a bag of chips. (Or maybe it was because I licked the salt off my fingers?)

But at least with this new research, you can feel a little bit better about having that extra mid-afternoon snack or second helping of dinner. You are supposed to be hungry -- so EAT. Your baby will thank you when he gets older.

Have you been overly concerned with your pregnancy weight gain thus far?

 

Image via edenpictures/Flickr

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