Thursday, November 15, 2012
As we all know by now, and read about every day, we are what we eat. Our diets effect how we feel every day, and have an enormous effect on our long term health.
And as most of us know, or should know, what we mothers eat during pregnancy effects the health of our babies. To a surprising extent! As it turns out, babies who are smaller at birth tend to be at higher risk of insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke. Those babies gain weight faster after birth--and they keep on gaining, especially in environments full of food.
Once upon a time, babies who were "hungry" in utero were more likely to be "hungry" after birth. Mothers who lived in poor environments had smaller babies, and those babies ate voraciously as soon as they came out. Then they kept eating--which, once upon a time, made sense, because where the pickin's are lean, it's a good thing to lay down fat whenever you can. Here and now, on the other hand, babies are highly unlikely to starve. High sugar, high fat foods follow us wherever we go. And babies who are "programmed" to eat voraciously eat too much.
There are 2 ways to fix that. One is to tell mothers not to diet while they're pregnant--especially over the last few months. The other is to watch what our kids eat, and keep them away from high sugars and high fats. Doing both would probably be smart.