Natural Alternative To Junk Food | Health Blog

Date: 08/30/2007    Written by: Jon Barron

Children Inherit the Taste for Junk Food

I've always loved the Biblical quote that says that the sins of the parents shall be visited upon their children -- even unto the third and fourth generation. It's always seemed so apt when referring to diet and nutrition. My main reference was the Pottenger cat study that found that cats fed diets of 100% cooked food could not reproduce by the third generation -- a marvelous example of passing sins along.

Well, now it looks like there's another.

A study conducted in Great Britain has found that a mother's diet during pregnancy, and even when breastfeeding, can affect her unborn child's taste for foods. Or to state it another way, mothers-to-be who gorge on junk food are more likely to give birth to a child with a sweet tooth, a love of fats, and a craving for salt.

You get the idea. The foods that mom eats while pregnant or breastfeeding have long-lasting effects on the development of those parts of the brain that control appetite. In summary, the study indicates that if you expose a child to junk foods in the womb or through their mothers' milk, then their brains will become hardwired so that they are more likely to eat junk food themselves, with a particular fondness for treats high in fat, sugar and salt.

As Dr Stephanie Bayol (CORR), the study's main author, said: "Our study has shown that eating large quantities of junk food when pregnant and breastfeeding could impair the normal control of appetite and promote an exacerbated taste for junk food in offspring. This could send the offspring on the road to obesity and make the task of teaching healthy eating habits in children even more challenging."

The bottom line is that parents need to be careful what they eat. If not, you may be condemning your children to a life of poor dietary choices, obesity, and illness -- not to mention your grandchildren and your great grand children too.

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    Submitted by Ada Wakeman on
    December 6, 2007 - 6:49am

    Well, have to say that you make a good point here. I really believe this... just that, is not only what mothers eat during the pregnancy think they 'educate' their children's taste for fats after bygiving them junk food so they can get rid of cooking.
    Ada yasmin birth control

    Submitted by Barbara on
    September 8, 2007 - 12:48pm

    I've read most of your site and learned a great deal from the articles. I am a bit disappointed in this post however. I followed the link and the study was of rats, not humans and there may or may not be any relationship between the study and human development. The BBC article also stated that much more work was needed before a link could be stated conclusively.
    While I do not doubt the need for pregnant women to eat healthily in general, I do not feel that this study leads to the conclustions you posted. Additionally, the way you wrote the post, clearly led readers to believe that this study was on humans and was conclusive. I am disappointed in what I believe was a misleading post.
    Barbara Pfieffer

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    September 8, 2007 - 2:13pm

    I understand your concern, but reread my comments. I said that the study ""indicates"" and the quote from the study's author says that eating junk food ""could"" impair the normal control of appetite. Those statements should not lead anyone who actually reads them to believe the results are conclusive -- merely indicitive. As to the study being perfomred on rats, yes it's true. However, the resutls were published in the British Joural of Nutrition and were picked up by the press as such, as a study relating to humans. And the link I provided in my comments cleary explains the details behind the study so nothing was being hidden from you.
    I was merely commenting on the study as presented. Hope that helps.

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