It has been found that sugar substitutes could make pregnant mothers’ babies heavier.
The use of artificial sweeteners in beverages could lead to pregnant mothers giving birth to babies that have a higher BMI. The infants face the risk of contracting obesity in their later years.
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The study article was published online in JAMA Pediatrics. Thus the curse of obesity may actually have its origins in childhood experiences. Among these is the state of the mother when the child is still in the womb. Over 20% of children are overweight today.
Since adding sugar to drinks and beverages leads to weight gain, artificial sweeteners have become very popular. Yet these are no better than the original thing since they too cause cravings and fluctuations in blood sugar.
Strange as it may appear to be, use of sugar substitutes will also cause obesity and metabolic syndrome among other ailments. They have even been linked with cancer.
Up until now very little was known about the effects of sugar substitutes on pregnancy. Yet now we know and the effects are not good. 3033 mothers and their infants were studied as a part of the research project. A questionnaire was also given to the mothers to determine their nutritional status during pregnancy.
The mean age of the pregnant moms was 32.4 years. 5.1% of the infants ended up being overweight. A quarter of the women had a regular intake of beverages with artificial sweeteners in them.
This of course led to complications such as their babies being born with higher BMIs. Those who drank no artificially flavored beverages were best off and didn’t have heavier babies.
Even those who had normal sucrose as a part of their diets showed no evidence of their babies being heavier than normal. It seems that unnatural substitutes are the worst nightmare that mankind may have started producing for consumption by its own kind.
While correlation does not suggest any causation, where there is smoke, there will be fire. Due to the fact that right now the over-consumption of artificial sweeteners is at a maximum and childhood obesity too is at a peak, it is obvious that the two have some sort of a connection with each other.
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The chances of error in the study have been taken into consideration. Further research is needed before a reasonable conclusion may be reached by the scientific community.