We are all familiar with the annoying "Eat healthy during pregnancy" slogan. While it may be annoying, how significantly it can affect your child's health has been demonstrated in a recent study. Not only do women's eating habits affect children when they are young, it can affect them even several years later.

Pediatrics, an online health magazine, published a report on July 10, featuring a study that revealed an apparent relationship between consumption of sugary beverages by moms during pregnancy and the obesity of their offsprings, not at birth or early years, but several years later in elementary school.

Project Viva

The study was conducted under the name of Project Viva. In this project, researchers selected 1078 mother-child pairs, with the children studying in elementary. The mothers were requested to fill out forms about their beverage consumption during pregnancy. The beverages under study included all kinds of drinks, the quantity, when and how many servings. The study also involved weighing children using various obesity evaluation methods and determining their correct BMI.

The group of researchers was able to make various parallel conclusions based on the study. The mother's intake of soda and fruit drinks were found to be directly related to their child's weight gain in elementary school.

Children's own beverage consumption did not affect the results at all. This study comes in line with earlier studies that demonstrated how a mother's nourishment affects the child's health in the long run.

Heart issues

An earlier study, published on November 6, 2016, showed how undernourished mothers could give birth to children with heart problems.

Originally conducted on baboons, the study showed how the hearts of underfed pregnant mothers, affected the child. The child born from moderately underfed mothers had slightly rounded hearts which were about 20% less efficient in pumping blood. In addition, these hearts aged faster.

Such studies show the great impact a mother's nutrition during pregnancy can have on the lives of their children.

"We pass more biological milestones during development than we will ever pass again in our entire lives," says Peter Nathanielsz, coauthor of the study on baboons.

So mothers should not only quit smoking and drinking during pregnancy, they should also choose healthy foods and drinks to consume all along. In the long run, aren't these changes best for our children and ourselves? Why ruin either?