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Eating Sweeteners While Pregnant Could Affect Baby's Weight: Study

29/11/2016

Eating Sweeteners While Pregnant Could Affect Baby's Weight: StudyA Canadian study has questioned how a pregnant mother's consumption of beverages containing sweeteners might affect the weight of their unborn child.

According to the authors, the risk of a mother's unborn child being overweight could be increased among those mothers who consume sweeteners on a daily basis.

Dr. Meghan Azad, of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada), and her staff questioned more than 3,000 women to learn about their eating habits during pregnancy. In addition, the body mass index (BMI) of their children was also measured at the age of one.

The researchers made two main findings:

1. 5.1% of the young children at the age of one were already overweight.

2. Mothers who consumed one or more artificially sweetened drinks each day during their pregnancies doubled the risk of their unborn children being overweight by the time they were one.

In conclusion, the researchers admit that their work includes some limitations such as the mothers reporting their eating habits via questionnaire. They point out, however, that "to their knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the potential effect of consuming artificial sweeteners during pregnancy and infant weight gain."

In January 2015, the National Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) was less convinced. According to them, "the available data do not make it possible to identify any benefit or conclude on the risk associated with the consumption of intense sweeteners during pregnancy, whether it is maternal health, obstetric parameters, or health of the newborn."
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