Can what the mother eats affect the child’s obesity risk?

A pregnant woman holding her stomach in one hand and a half eaten donut, a highly processed food, in the otherPost on Pinterest
Parents’ diet may influence their children’s obesity risk. enigma_images / Getty Images
  • Ultra-processed foods are those that have undergone significant levels of industrial processing and modification during preparation and contain only small amounts of whole foodsAnd the If any.
  • A recent study showed that mothers’ intake of ultra-processed foods during child-rearing was associated with an increased risk of being overweight or obese in their offspring during childhood or adolescence.
  • These findings suggest that women of childbearing age should limit their intake of ultra-processed foods to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity in their children.

Childhood obesity is a major health problem and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes later in life. The prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents was approx 20% in the United States between 2017-2020, which represents about 14.7 million children and adolescents.

A new study was published in BMJ indicates that higher levels of maternal intake Ultra-processed foods During childhood and adolescence, it was associated with an increased risk of being overweight or obese in their offspring aged 7-18 years, regardless of the offspring’s consumption of ultra-processed foods.

Our research highlights the importance of a mother’s diet not only to her health but also to the health of her children. Until now, we have tended to focus on nutritional advice for middle-aged and older adults to reduce the risk of chronic disease. This clearly shows that we need to encourage healthy eating throughout life.”
Dr. Andrew Chanstudy author and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School

“From a public health point of view, we also need to emphasize access to healthy foods for family units to reduce the obesity epidemic in children and adults,” said Dr. Chan. Medical news today.

“We also need to understand that a manifestation of social inequalities in health is not only differential access to health care but also differential access to healthy, under-processed foods. This requires thoughtful and thoughtful policy making that addresses not only the basic human right to food but also the right to healthy food.”

Until recently, public health guidelines for the prevention and treatment of obesity in general emphasized the importance of maintaining healthy eating patterns. These methods promote consumption of certain foods such as whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and fish while limiting the intake of other foods such as saturated fats, sugar and sodium.

The obesity epidemic has accompanied a steady increase in the consumption of highly processed foods worldwide. Furthermore, studies have shown that consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and Cardiovascular disease. This has given rise to an alternative public health strategy that emphasizes limiting highly processed foods rather than nutrient intake.

Ultra-processed foods are foods that have undergone significant industrial processing and modification and therefore contain only a small amount of whole foods. Thus, ultra-processed foods tend to contain food additives such as preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers and sweeteners that are not typically used in home cooking. These foods are generally ready to consume or require little preparation and have a long shelf life.

Due to the industrial manufacturing processes used to make these types of foods, ultra-processed foods are generally highly palatable, inexpensive, and high in calories, sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Some examples of ultra-processed foods include bread, mass-produced baked goods, ready-to-eat meals, packaged desserts, desserts, and snacks.

Several studies have consistently shown that consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with overweight and obesity in adults and children. Moreover, studies have shown that the mother’s diet during pregnancy and even during childhood and adolescence, that is, during the period of child rearing, can influence the risks of obesity in the offspring.

These studies examined the relationship between maternal adherence to certain dietary patterns, such as the DASH diet, or the quality of the mother’s diet and the risk of childhood obesity. However, there is a lack of research specifically examining the link between maternal consumption of ultra-processed foods and the incidence of obesity in their offspring during childhood and adolescence.

In the current study, researchers used data on mother-child pairs to examine the effect of maternal consumption of ultra-processed foods during pregnancy and child-rearing on the development of obesity or overweight in their offspring during childhood or adolescence. .

The current study used data from mothers registered in Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II) and their children participate in Studying Growth Today (GUTS I and II)NHS II is a longitudinal study examining risk factors associated with chronic conditions in nurses aged 25-42 years at the time of enrollment.

GUTS-1 and GUTS-11 are longitudinal studies involving children of NHS participants aged 7-17 years at enrollment, with the aim of examining the long-term effect of diet and exercise on an individual’s weight.

The researchers used data collected from lifestyle and health questionnaires that were taken on a regular basis during the three studies. This included data from food frequency questionnaires, which were used to assess the average daily intake of various ultra-processed food items.

The researchers tracked 19,958 mother-child pairs over an average of 4 years to analyze the relationship between mothers’ consumption of ultra-processed foods while raising children and the development of being overweight or obese in their offspring between the ages of 7-18.

They found that mothers’ intake of ultra-processed foods during child-rearing was associated with an increased risk of being overweight or obese in their offspring during childhood or adolescence.

The researchers then divided the mothers into five groups based on their daily consumption of ultra-processed foods during the period of raising the children. They compared the risks of obesity or overweight between these groups after adjusting for maternal risk factors, such as levels of physical activity, energy intake, body weight, socioeconomic factors, and offspring-related factors such as consumption of ultra-processed foods, sitting time, and levels of physical activity.

Offspring of mothers who ate the highest levels of ultra-processed foods during child-rearing were 26% more likely to be overweight or obese..

Among the different types of ultra-processed foods, maternal consumption of highly processed bread and breakfast items was associated with an increased risk of obesity or overweight in the offspring.

The researchers then examined the effect of eating ultra-processed foods during pregnancy. They analyzed data from dietary assessments covering a period of one year that included at least part of a pregnancy.

Consumption of ultra-processed foods during pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk of being overweight or obese in children. However, researchers did find an increased risk of being overweight or obese in offspring of mothers who ate more dairy-based sweets and sweetened drinks during pregnancy.

Interestingly, a slight decrease in the amount of ultra-processed foods consumed by mothers was observed in the study between 1991 and 2015.

Previous studies have linked maternal inflammation during pregnancy to childhood obesity. Evidence indicates that additives such as emulsions Commonly used in dairy-based desserts, it can alter the intestinal microbiome and promote maternal chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to childhood obesity.

Alternatively, consumption of ultra-processed foods during pregnancy can alter the long-term expression of genes related to growth and energy balance in the fetus, increasing the risk of childhood obesity.

The researchers noted that the study has an observational design and does not establish a causal relationship between maternal consumption of ultra-processed foods and obesity or overweight in their offspring. In other words, the results observed in the study could be due to factors that were not considered in the study.

They also noted that their analysis used self-reported measures of body weight and diet, which can be subject to bias. Furthermore, the women included in the study had similar socioeconomic backgrounds and educational levels, and this could limit the generalizability of these findings to the wider population.

Other researchers have expressed doubts about Nova The classification system, which was used to classify foods by extent and type of processing. Dr.. Duane MellorRegistered Dietitian and Senior Teaching Fellow at Aston University says:

Potentially subjective descriptions of ultra-processed foods can lead to bias and errors. Anything made at home with ultra-processed ingredients might not count, but when the matching product is bought in a store, it isn’t, but after all, a cake is still a cake, bought at the store or baked at home.”

Dr. Hilda MulroneyThere has been “a lot of disagreement” about NOVA’s rating system for ultra-processed foods, says Kingston University associate professor of nutrition.

“NOVA is not agreed upon in the literature and suggests that the level of processing, rather than the nutritional quality of foods, is more important to health. This is not universally agreed upon in nutrition science, which links the risk of poor health with nutrient intake,” noting that ultra-processed foods often They are high in calories, fat, salt and/or sugar.

Are all processed foods bad?

Dr. Gunter Kunelprofessor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Reading, notes that “[The study participants] With the highest intakes of ultra-processed foods, they have the lowest diet quality, are more likely to smoke, have lower incomes and lower educational attainment – so it is very likely that socioeconomic factors can explain at least some of the results.”

“In my opinion, studies like this detract from the real problem by focusing on a trendy but wrong definition. Many foods labeled as ‘ultra-processed’ can be part of a healthy diet and need not be avoided. Because they are often What has a long life and makes better use of resources – for example, fish sticks – is affordable and can reduce food waste.”

Instead of demonizing foods and making people feel guilty for not being able to buy expensive foods, it would be better to understand the physiological causes and find ways to mitigate it. Ultimately, this will also require addressing existing health disparities.”
– Dr. Gunther Kunll

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