Thursday, December 2, 2010

Healthy Eating is Important in All Life Stages

It is fascinating and frightening to realize that a lot of our health predispositions are set before we are even born. Once we can make informed decisions about what to eat and go forth to access those foods (probably around adolescence), it might be too late for some people. Now, new research has added to the fact that what moms eat during their pregnancies has a major impact not only their babies' future health (we know this all too well), but also on the choices and preferences that those babies will make and have as they grow up and enter into adulthood! Talk about planning ahead!

Researchers have come out with the finding that junk food actually smells better and is more attractive to babies born to moms who made unhealthy choices in their pregnancy. But this finding doesn't just apply to junk food, it works with alcohol and other substances as well. This is because, according to the researchers, the pregnant mother's diet sensitises her growing fetus to those particular smells and flavours, which ultimately shapes their brain development. They further state that this phenomenon occurs due to the fact that the baby's brain 'expects' that whatever nutrients the mother provides them with must be safe and good, thus their brains are programmed to seek these nutrients out later.

Since so many chronic diseases as well as their risk factors are 'set' in utero, it is amazing to finally get closer to figuring out exactly why. According to study author Dr. Josephine Todrank, 'This highlights the importance of eating a healthy diet and refraining from drinking alcohol during pregnancy and nursing.". Agreed!