Eating Too Much Potato Chips During Pregnancy Affects Development of Babies: StudyPregnancy & Parenting

June 01, 2019 12:11
Eating Too Much Potato Chips During Pregnancy Affects Development of Babies: Study

(Image source from: FirstCry Parenting)

Women during their pregnancy period are often advised to avoid certain foods owing to baby’s and mother’s health too.

A new study finds that eating too much vegetable oil and potato chips during pregnancy as such a diet may lead to an increased risk of pregnancy complications and poor development of the babies.

Foods such as potato chips and vegetable oil consist of omega 6 fats, especially linoleic acid, and the research suggests that overconsumption of this nutrient can further inflammation and may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

"It is important for pregnant women to consider their diet, and our research is yet another example that potentially consuming too much of a certain type of nutrient can have a negative impact on the growing baby," said study lead author Deanne Skelly, Professor at Griffith University in Australia.

Eating a diet with three times the suggested everyday intake of linoleic acid might be harmful in pregnancy, according to the findings, published in The Journal of Physiology.

The researchers picked rats for the study and they found three changes in rat mothers who consumed a high linoleic acid diet: their liver had altered concentrations of inflammatory proteins, their circulating concentrations of a protein that can cause contraction of the uterus during maternity were increased, and a hormone that can regulate development and growth was decreased.

The study suggests that if the effects of high linoleic acid are the same in rats and humans, the women of child-bearing age should consider reducing the amount of linoleic acid in their diet.

During the study, the research team fed rats for 10 weeks on a diet with high linoleic acid, mated them and then investigated the effects of the diet on their pregnancy and developing babies.

Rats typically give birth to multiple babies in each pregnancy. Rat mothers who consumed a high linoleic acid diet had a reduced number of male babies, according to the study.

It is crucial to note that when humans eat a diet rich in linoleic acid, the diet also tends to be high in fat, sugar, and salt. However, in the study, the only alteration in the diet was higher linoleic acid, but no changes in sugar, fat or salt.

By Sowmya Sangam

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pregnancy  potato chips