Sunday, 30 March 2008

Smoking and missing meals during pregnancy triples the risk of childhood obesity

Japanese researchers observed 1000 children born to smoking and non-smoking mothers. The researchers revealed that children born to smoking mothers were nearly 3 times more at a risk of developing obesity later in their lives, possibly as a result of the damaging effects nicotine has to the baby’s brain says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown, who specialises in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy.

There are many ways nutritional therapy can help support you while giving up smoking, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown. As smoking can upset your blood sugar balance (which can also impact on weight gain), one of the first things I look at, are ways to regulate your blood sugar. Many foods can also upset your blood sugar levels, as well as other stimulants such as coffee, tea, alcohol and chocolate. There are also a number of supplements that may help reduce your craving for nicotine.

An additional result of the study also revealed that mothers who skipped their breakfast during pregnancy made their children nearly 2½ times more vulnerable to developing obesity in their latter stage of life. This may result in babies developing blood sugar imbalances in utero, which affects their ability to regulate insulin which can contribute to weight gain, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown.

Furthermore, depriving yourself of food which in turn deprives the fetus of nutrition is a contributing factor of intrauterine growth retardation. Improper nutrition and food supply to the growing fetus has also been linked with poor nutritional habits in the future which can lead to overweight problems and obesity in children.

To find out more about Nutritional support during or before your pregnancy, contact UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown Dip.ION (mBANT), specialist in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy care in the city of London, EC2. I have also written a free e-book on how you can improve your diet during your pregnancy, which can be obtained by clicking on my link.