So many mum's to be subscribe to the idea of "eating for two" - 'Yes, another slice of cake is okay and make it a hot chocolate with cream and chocolate sprinkles, if you please!' However, research has shown that mums who eat too much during pregnancy can increase the risk of their babies being born with low IQ, eating disorders and psychosis. Sounds dreadful!
The researchers state that the average IQ of children of obese mothers was five points lower than the babies who had mothers of a healthy weight. The research (carried out at McMaster University, in Ontario Canada) was published in the international journal entitled Obesity Reviews and it looked at the impact of weight gain during pregnancy on child development.
The findings suggested there were country differentials:
Sweden - The children born of overweight mothers in Sweden were more likely to suffer from attention deficit problems
Japan - Japanese children born to overweight mothers increased the baby's chance of developing schizophrenia in adulthood by 24 per cent.
Australia - The chances of teenagers have an eating disorder increased by 11 per cent for those who has overweight mothers during pregnancy.
It might be linked to changes in the hormonal, cardiovascular and immune systems during pregnancy as a result of excess weight.
Obesity in pregnancy can impact on the mother's health too.
It can increase the risk of:-
So, dispense with the old wives tales of eating for two, shape up before planning a family and eat sensibly!
According to The Lancet, more than half of the babies born in the UK and other wealthy nations will live until they are over 100 years old, so researchers have claimed. They also state that as adults, their lives will not be riddled with serious diseases and ailments, but that their lives will be of a good quality. The data has been gathered from over 30 different countries and has shown that since 1950 the chance of living past 80 years old has increased for both sexes. We are twice as likely to survive beyond 80 than people in the 1950s.
The key to this dramatic increase in life expectancy is due to our lifestyle and our healthy way of living, helped by medical advances and better nutrition. Improved living conditions are also a contributing factor.
Child mortality figures also contribute to the trend of longevity. In the early part of the 20th century child mortality rates were worryingly high and this is only a few decades ago. Couple this with old people living longer and you can see why the average person's life span will tend to be longer!
The researchers based in Denmark at the Danish Aging Research Centre studied life expectancy throughout the high-income world. They see no reason why life expectancy won't just keep improving as the years go by!
It does, however, pose problems in that with aging population (however active and seemingly fit) will put extra strain on social and medical services.
Some doctors are sceptical, because if you look at the top ten causes of death, obesity is 2nd or 3rd on the list. This is a self-induced form of early death and something that allegedly between half and one third of us suffer from... so things could get much worse. So, we may end up going backwards with life expectancy rather than forwards once obesity factors are accounted for.
That we are living longer is a nice idea, but we shouldn't take it for granted - we need to take responsibility and make sure we don't end up sliding backwards! Introduce your babies to a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle, and there's a good chance that they will live to celebrate their 100th birthday!
By the time a baby is born, its taste buds are developed and a baby has an innate sense of what foods are good, and which are bad. Breast and formula milks are sweet, and babies initially favour sweet tastes over sour or bitter flavours. Although they may taste similar, the difference between breast and formula milk is the difference between processed and natural food. The first solid foods that many children experience are also processed baby foods. The packaging will tell you that the contents are healthy and nutritional, but often the truth is that they are laden with more sugar than we would use in our own cooking, and sometimes ingredients that we wouldn't be happy to add ourselves!
There is inceasing evidence that eating high proportions of processed foods as babies leads to increased consumption of processed foods throughout life, as our tastes adapt to the foods that we eat early on. Processed foods are typically high in salt and sugar and use cheap fats with higher saturated fat content. This almost certainly plays a part in the rising instance of obesity in children and adults.
A study published in America in 2004 suggested that by the age of 2 years, one third of toddlers do not eat fruit and vegetable in any healthy form, instead being fed a diet consisting only of processed foods. Other research suggests that babies exposed to a broad range of complex flavours, provided by natural foods, grow up to eat a broad and healthy diet, which in turn contributes to a better lifestyle.
If these ideas are correct, then it reinsforces just how important it is to be feeding our little ones a broad range of foods and flavours from an early age. Don't become dependent on baby jars from the supermarket, instead, look to buying a wide selection of fruit and vegetables from which to make your own purees, and wholesome meals.
New research has found that one in ten children will be obese in the next five years - what a staggering statistic! Research carried out at the University of London studied statistics between 1995 and 2007. The health survey for England provided the data which takes a sample of UK households.
If the trend continues, then researchers predicted that 1 in 10 boys aged between 2-10 will be obese by 2015, and approximately 1 in 9 girls. In lower income families the statistic was slightly worse. They said 'these increases will affect the lower social classes to a larger extent'.
The research was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health - let's hope the predictions don't become reality. It's so important to get kids up and moving from an early age.
Children who are overweight at a young age risk greater likelihood of health problems in later life, including diabetes and heart disease. Children who are more active in their first few years are statistically more likely to maintain an active lifestyle when they are older.
There is so much that parents and carers can do and its one area where you don't need to spend much money. Going to the local play park, setting off on nature walks round your neighbourhood, heading off the woods and climbing on fallen tree trunks, even walking or scooting to school instead of driving. Enjoy an active lifestyle with your children and they will benefit for years to come. Premium Members of ToucanLearn can search for 'Physical Development' activities 'Outdoor' and find lots of fun games and activities to do outside, specifically aimed at the capabilities of their children!
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