Consuming diet soft drink during pregnancy linked to obesity

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th May 2016

Soft DrinkConsuming artificially sweetened soft drink daily during pregnancy may be linked with increased infant body mass, researchers claim.

In an article published online by JAMA Paediatrics, US and Canadian researchers studied over 3, 000 mother-infant pairs to discover 5.1 per cent of children were overweight at one years old. The exact amount of women, 5.1 per cent, reported drinking artificially sweetened drinks daily during their pregnancy. A larger group, 29.5 per cent, of the women reported drinking artificially sweetened drinks at least once during their pregnancy.

“To our knowledge, our results provide the first human evidence that artificial sweetener consumption during pregnancy may increase the risk of early childhood overweight,” the researchers reported.

“Given the current epidemic of childhood obesity and the widespread consumption of artificial sweeteners, further research is warranted to replicate our findings in other cohorts, evaluate specific non-nutritive sweeteners and longer-term outcomes, and study the underlying biological mechanisms,” the researchers said.

The findings were discovered by providing the women with food questionnaires during pregnancy. Infant weight was measured by calculating the child’s body mass index (BMI) at one year of age.

The average age of women surveyed was 32.4 years.

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