A new study linking artificial sweeteners consumed during pregnancy and child’s body mass index has been published this week in the JAMA’s Journal of Pediatrics. A high association linking infant metabolic risk with mothers’ non-nutrients intake was detected.
It’s no news the Western world is facing an obesity crisis, and this crisis doesn’t avoid our young. The child and adolescent obesity numbers have quadrupled in the past three decades.
Soft drinks are a unique part of this crisis.
In trying to replace the added sugar, soft drinks companies have introduced artificial sweeteners, but to what effects?
These artificial sweeteners replacements are new and do not have well-charted results. What is well charted is, in fact, the number of adult Americans consuming these products: one-quarter of American adults take a daily amount of artificial sweeteners that do not have nutrients.
Anyway, there is some evidence pointing to the effects of artificial sweeteners and the increase of metabolic disease in adults. And there is one animal research studying the relationship between the non-nutrients intake during pregnancy and metabolic problems with their infant.
But none of these studies investigate the link between artificial sweeteners taken during human pregnancy and child obesity problems.
So a few researchers from Canada have decided to fill this gap.
After getting over the difficulty of setting the study up for research, the investigators ran their study on 3033 mother-infant couples.
They discovered that mothers who drank beverages containing artificial sweeteners on a daily basis, compared with the mothers who didn’t drink them at all, had a higher risk of having an overweight infant by the age of 1.
The infant BMI was associated with an increase of 0.2 by comparison with the control group, which is a significant increase.
Having a fat baby is not the problem, it’s quite cute by most’s concern, but having a baby with health problems is the issue here.
The theory of the interaction between our digestive system and the artificial sweeteners might offer some clues for these findings. It says that coming into contact with the bacteria into our mouth and gut, determines the bacteria to create metabolic changes.
It’s yet to be determined.
The study’s researchers have emphasized on the association not the causality conclusion of their findings. Further studies need to repeat their results on other mothers and add studies of particular non-nutrient ingredients and underlying biology in the mechanism of the intake.
Nonetheless, the study yields valuable insights into the risks related to artificial sweeteners during pregnancy.
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