College of DuPage Nursing Student Syeda Tariq researched that according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), at least one in five children in the US between the ages of 6 to 19 years is currently obese. The rate of childhood obesity since the 1970s has at least tripled, 1 and recent research suggests the time for prevention begins during pregnancy. Dr Stéphanie Bayol from Science Daily, found that consuming large quantities of junk food during pregnancy and/or while breastfeeding may impair normal appetite regulation and encourage the desire for junk food in the offspring. According to the CDC, an extra 300 kcal/day are recommended during pregnancy, and 500 kcal/day while breastfeeding, however, this is not the time for binge eating or consuming junk food. These temptations are relatively normal due to hormonal changes or a lack of knowledge regarding healthy food choices, but unhealthy eating at these crucial times in the child’s life may contribute to childhood obesity. Research also indicates that obesity during childhood may lead to obesity as an adult and increase the likelihood of high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint complications, or even cancer. Obese children may also suffer from self-esteem issues resulting in social isolation, depression, or bullying.
Therefore, eating for two is not necessarily the message to convey to pregnant mothers-too much of a good thing may no longer be good. Educating mothers about the importance of healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding has long-term implications, and benefits not only the mother, but makes for healthier babies, who are our future.
Wellcome Trust. (2007, August 15). Eating Junk Food While Pregnant And Breastfeeding May Lead To Obese Offspring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070814212154.htm
Wellcome Trust. “Eating Junk Food While Pregnant And Breastfeeding May Lead To Obese Offspring.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070814212154.htm (accessed September 7, 2017).