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Junk food cravings could be inherited in pregnancy

New animal tests show that mothers who eat junk food in pregnancy could pass on their bad habits to their unborn babies.

Posted: 15 August 2007
by Monica Stylli

New animal research by the Royal Veterinary College suggests that eating too much of the wrong food in pregnancy can lead to bad and potentially harmful habits in unborn babies.

Tests carried out on pregnant rats showed that when fed unhealthy food, they would produce offspring who also craved similar junk foods. This idea is also backed by a study in the British Journal of Nutrition which suggests that the rats’ behaviour was ‘programmed’ in the womb.

How this new research translates to humans is as yet unclear but scientists and nutritionists are keen to highlight the importance of eating well in pregnancy and during periods of breastfeeding. For useful information on what to eat in pregnancy don’t forget to check out our diet and nutrition section on the site.

For further information on the RVC study visit

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