Children born to pregnant women who eat junk food may develop the same cravings, a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition concludes.
Offspring born to pregnant rats fed crackers, potato chips and sweets ate more unhealthy foods than offspring born to mothers who ate a healthier diet of "rat chow," UK researchers at the Royal Veterinary College found.
The junk food diet fed to some rats was continued past birth as mother rats breastfed their offspring, according to a BBC Online report on the study. The sweet-eating rats tended to eat more overall, the researchers found.
The scientists suggested that "pleasure chemicals" generated by the mothers who ate junk foods may have affected the developing brains of foetal rats.
"Future mothers should be aware that pregnancy and lactation are not the time to over-indulge on fatty and sugary treats on the assumption that they are 'eating for two,'" said Professor Neil Stickland, the study's lead author. – (HealthDayNews)