I’ve always loved the Biblical quote that says that the sins of the parents shall be visited upon their children — even unto the third and fourth generation. It’s always seemed so apt when referring to diet and nutrition. My main reference was the Pottenger cat study that found that cats fed diets of 100% cooked food could not reproduce by the third generation — a marvelous example of passing sins along.
Well, now it looks like there’s another.
A study conducted in Great Britain has found that a mother’s diet during pregnancy, and even when breastfeeding, can affect her unborn child’s taste for foods. Or to state it another way, mothers-to-be who gorge on junk food are more likely to give birth to a child with a sweet tooth, a love of fats, and a craving for salt.
You get the idea. The foods that mom eats while pregnant or breastfeeding have long-lasting effects on the development of those parts of the brain that control appetite. In summary, the study indicates that if you expose a child to junk foods in the womb or through their mothers’ milk, then their brains will become hardwired so that they are more likely to eat junk food themselves, with a particular fondness for treats high in fat, sugar and salt.
As Dr Stephanie Bayol (CORR), the study’s main author, said: “Our study has shown that eating large quantities of junk food when pregnant and breastfeeding could impair the normal control of appetite and promote an exacerbated taste for junk food in offspring. This could send the offspring on the road to obesity and make the task of teaching healthy eating habits in children even more challenging.”
The bottom line is that parents need to be careful what they eat. If not, you may be condemning your children to a life of poor dietary choices, obesity, and illness — not to mention your grandchildren and your great grand children too.