Is it mum's fault?

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Maybe if we are overweight we should blame our mothers! I don’t mean genetics but because of what she ate when we were young.

According to new research from the University of Adelaide, mothers who eat junk food while pregnant or breastfeeding are setting their babies up to be addicted to a high-fat, high-sugar diet.

Researchers found that a junk food diet stimulated the production of the feel-good hormone dopamine.

This means children born to a junk food junkie need to eat increasing amounts of fat and sugar to achieve the same good feeling.

Research leader Dr Bev Muhlhausler says the effect is similar to an opiate addict needing more drugs over time.

“Eating too much junk food results in the need to consume more foods full of fat and sugar to get the same pleasurable sensation.”

She says a careful diet after weaning can reverse some of the damage, but the children will always be pre-disposed to over-consumption of junk food and obesity.

“It’s going to make it much more difficult for them to maintain a healthy body weight.”

Although I think there must be consideration for some people who experience such bad sickness during pregnancy that they are happy just to get anything down that stays down.

It’s still obviously every mum’s intention is to do the best by their baby and hopefully research like this helps someone make better choices of good, healthy, real food during those early years. They are only going to help the child when it’s time to make their own choices years later.

Plus the benefit to the baby’s health will be huge too. Breastfeeding will always be the best way to feed your baby, but it is very demanding on the mother. Its such an important time for nourishing, real food to help her with the extra demands placed on her body.

Even just seeing the choices mum and dad make will be such a huge influence on the child’s own food choices. So if you want your child healthy, this is definitely where leading by example is the way to go.

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