Study: Eating too much fish during pregnancy can make your child obese

Study: Eating too much fish during pregnancy can make your child obese

A recent study says that expecting mothers who eat more than three servings of fish in a week tend to have obese children. Read on to know more about the foods recommended for expecting mothers.

Can’t seem to get those insatiable fish hunger pangs under control during pregnancy? If you have been eating fish more than the recommended three servings a week, there is a likely chance your child will be at a higher risk of obesity.

The study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics found a link between higher fish intake during pregnancy and the possibility of rapid growth and obesity in the offspring.

What the study says?

The research observed three important points:

  • High maternal fish intake during pregnancy was found to be associated with an increased risk of rapid growth in child- from birth to two years.
  • High maternal fish intake was also associated with an increased risk of obesity in children at ages four and six years.
  • The effect of consuming excessive fish was noticed more in girls than in boys.

The study, however, does not delve into the kind of fish the expectant mothers consumed during their pregnancy. Nor does it study the level of contaminants like methyl mercury.

Health goals during pregnancy

Eating a variety of foods during pregnancy not only affects your health but can directly affect the health of your baby. You can prepare a pregnancy diet chart to list the food items that fulfill the 300 cal you require during pregnancy. Here's what you can include:

  • Pregnant women are recommended 6-11 servings of grains and bread, 2-4 servings of fruits, 4-8 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of proteins including fish, eggs, poultry, meat and nuts. (Source: webmd)
  • Pregnant women are also recommended to take prenatal vitamin supplements because of high requirement of minerals and vitamins during pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women are recommended 4-6 servings of dairy products, which is anything between 1,000 mg and 1,300 mg of calcium.
  • Pregnant women are also recommended 27mg of iron on a daily basis, which includes spinach, beans, lean meats and cereals for breakfast.
  • Pregnant women are also recommended 250mg of iodine, which is beneficial for your baby's brain and nervous system development. For this, you can include food items like salt, dairy products including milk, yogurt and cheese and seafood.
  • Pregnant women are also recommended foods that fulfill the daily requirement of 70mg of Vitamin C per day. You can include items like cauliflower, broccoli, grapes, papaya, strawberries, tomatoes and even green peppers.
  • Pregnant women are also recommended a daily intake of 0.4mg of folic acid per day. You can include green leafy vegetables and dals to fulfill this quota. Folic acid is known to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies.
  • Pregnant women are also recommended the consumption of foods that are rich in Vitamin A. These include carrots, spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato, apricots and even turnips.

By adding these foods to your daily diet, you can ensure a healthy baby and a healthy you. However, if you do experience morning sickness, there are certain foods like spices, red chillies and masala chai among others, which you can eliminate from your daily diet.

Read: Precautions during pregnancy: Trimester 1 guide

If you have any insights or comments about the article on the risk of obesity, please share them in our Comment box below.

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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