We Tell You The Link Between The Amount Of Fats You Eat During Your Pregnancy And Your Child's Mental Health
While dietary fats are absolutely essential for the proper growth and development of the baby, the quantity and quality of these fats is what makes all the difference.
When you’re pregnant, you’re advised to eat a lot of healthy food, since what you eat is what the baby growing inside you will get. Unfortunately, some women take that as a blanket statement to eat anything and everything, with no portion control, or willpower.
A recent study, conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University, has revealed that women who eat a high-fat diet during their pregnancy could be responsible for anxiety disorders in their children. Fat is essential for the development of the baby and the health of the pregnant mother. But the kind and quantity of fats consumed are what have to be taken into consideration. Basically, one should stay away from bad fats while pregnant, and should also take care that good fats are not consumed in quantities more than necessary.
What the study tells us
The study shows that if mothers are obese before or during pregnancy, it can cause mental health issues in their offspring. These kids have a high tendency towards anxiety and depression. In the study, what was alarming was that even after these children were weaned off high-fat food and put on a healthy diet, the mood swings persisted. The study found that children of obese mothers suffered from a defect in the serotonin system. Serotonin is a chemical that your body releases, which affects your mood, appetite, digestion, sleep, and memory. Also, obesity during pregnancy increases the risk of life-long health problems in children, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
What does this mean?
The implication is actually quite scary. What you eat during your pregnancy is going to affect your child, and the effect, as per the study, is not reversible. The mental health of future generations is at stake. The aim of the study was to educate pregnant women on the risks of eating a high-fat diet and to educate the family to eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
In essence, besides genes, diet also plays an important role in behavioural disorders such as depression and anxiety. What you eat affects not only your heart, but also your brain and in turn, your unborn child’s as well.