Too much sugar during pregnancy could impact kids' allergies

By YOU
10 July 2017

The amount of sugar a woman consumes during pregnancy affects their child's risk of developing an allergy and allergic asthma.

The amount of sugar a woman consumes during pregnancy affects their child's risk of developing an allergy and allergic asthma, researchers claim.

While a link between high amounts of sugar and asthma was previously discovered, this latest research is the first to associate the condition with mothers' eating habits.

Almost 9,000 women who were expecting during the early 1990s were analysed and quizzed on their consumption of certain food groups on a weekly basis, such as coffee and sugar, with their responses examined to calculate how much added sugar they ate and drank, excluding natural ones found in vegetables, dairy products, and fruits.

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Their children were then tested for common allergies, like cat fur, grass, and dust when aged seven.

A weak link between a woman's sugar intake and their offspring developing an allergy, in general, was found, yet there was a much stronger association between sugar and allergic asthma - which involves a diagnosis as well as a positive skin test for allergens. Those youngsters whose mothers consumed the most added sugar during pregnancy were twice as likely to develop the condition in comparison to youths whose moms were in the bottom fifth.

Furthermore, children whose moms ate a lot of added sugar were 38 percent more likely to be diagnosed with an allergen and had a 73 percent higher chance of testing positive for two or more than kids with moms who didn't consume a lot of added sugar.

"We know that the prenatal period may be crucial for determining risk of asthma and allergies in childhood, and recent trials have confirmed that maternal diet in pregnancy is important," said report author Annabelle Bedard, a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health at Queen Mary University of London, naming high-fructose corn syrup as perhaps one of the biggest culprits.

Read more: Dieting during pregnancy increases offspring’s risk of schizophrenia

However, the findings - published in the European Respiratory Journal - didn't link pregnancy sugar consumption to all allergic conditions, with hay fever and eczema noticeably absent. There was also no cause-and-effect relationship pinpointed from the study.

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