(WXYZ) – When you’re pregnant, those sugary food cravings are hard to ignore. But a new study links high sugar intake to a higher risk of your child developing an allergy.
A team of British researchers evaluated free sugar consumption of nearly 9,000 pregnant women. After comparing those who consumed the most sugar with those who consumed the least, they found a 38 percent higher risk of allergy diagnosis for the children whose Moms had high free sugar intake during pregnancy. The kids also had a 73 percent increased risk of developing two or more allergies and were 101% more likely to have allergic asthma.
This study is only observational, but the researchers think a high-sugar diet during pregnancy activates an immune response. And this may lead to allergic inflammation in a baby’s developing lungs. The women in this study with high sugar levels ate between 16 to 69 teaspoons daily, while the women with low-sugar intake ate less than 7 teaspoons daily.
Allergies have been on the rise over the last 50 years and the rates for kids have climbed between 40 to 50 percent worldwide. So here are my prescriptions:
- Pregnant women should reduce your exposure to tobacco smoke before and after birth. This decreases your baby’s risk of developing wheezing and asthma.
- It has not been proven that restricting foods during pregnancy will help to prevent children’s allergies. Pregnant women should focus on eating nutritious foods from the different food groups.
- You can reduce your child’s exposure to allergens like dust mites by using allergen-impermeable covers on beds and bedding. This may delay or prevent allergy or asthma symptoms.
- Everyone should limit free sugars in your diet, aiming for 6 teaspoons daily.
Free sugars mean sugar that is added to foods, either by the manufacturer or you the consumer. It also includes sugars that are naturally present in foods like syrups, fruit juices, and honey. The natural sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables are not considered free sugars.
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