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Overeating in pregnancy could harm your baby

Experts warn against traditional advice about eating for two

Posted: 27 June 2011
by Ploy Radford
Obese mum-to-be
Research busts the myth that mums should eat for two

The traditional advice that mums-to-be should eat for two during pregnancy is in fact a harmful myth. A new study shows that children of mums who are obese in pregnancy are more likely to suffer from low IQs, eating disorders and psychosis.

The research, which has been published in the international journal, Obesity Reviews, contains findings about the impact of pregnant obesity from across the globe, including:

  • A link between an increase in a pregnant woman’s body mass index (BMI) and a child with lower IQ
  • That children born to overweight mothers are more likely to suffer from attention deficit disorders
  • For every extra BMI point added in early pregnancy leads to an increased risk of schizophrenia in the baby

It is still unclear as to why these extra risks occur.

Earlier research has discovered that foetal and infant death is twice as common in obese pregnant women.

Jane Munro, from the Royal College of Midwives, said, “We encourage women to get to a healthy weight before conception, and eat healthily in pregnancy, but we do not encourage dieting in pregnancy, and we don’t want women getting too frightened about all this.” 

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Obesity, pregnancy, mums, IQ loss, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorders
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