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Will Eating Junk Food During Pregnancy Cause Child Addiction?

Every pregnant mother-to-be knows that your life completely changes once that pregnancy test is positive. Everything you thought of, did, experienced and lived makes a complete alteration to consider whether it will harm your unborn baby. This is most important when talking about the items that are consumed, as you remove those that may cause trouble and add those that will be beneficial. While many previously took the topic of junk food as a lower priority, it seems new studies are showing junk food can actually lead to child addiction.

junk food

New published research has found that the consumption of junk food during pregnancy can actually lead to changes in the unborn child. Apparently eating junk food alters the opioid signaling pathway in the brains of the unborn child to allow the baby to be less sensitive to the opiods, which are released during the consumption of foods that are high in sugars and fats. This causes a chain reaction so that these children are more susceptible to a higher requirement of junk food to give them that positive or ‘feel good’ feeling. Blocking the opioid signal lowers the intake of fats and sugar and blocks the release of dopamine. Dopamine is the body’s organic chemical that is associated with the pleasure or ‘feel good’ feeling.

Our society is already aware of the bad effects that junk food brings to our diet, however, in the past it was never included as one of the absolute ‘don’ts’ during pregnancy. We have endured for a few generations with the consumption of junk food on the rise, and the new research may be a benchmark for one of the reasons we have an increased consumption of junk food as well as obesity. Could it be that many of the existing generation was born with a child addiction to junk food, without being aware of it?

The demand for junk food continues to placate our fast-paced, no time, multi-tasking society and the quantity of fast food eating locations on any community street. The increase in child obesity is being addressed on a variety of social levels including schools as well as parental counseling. Obesity is one of the few situations that we can personally take control over, and yet the rationalization of grabbing junk food to feed our families remains on the rise, because we feel we don’t have time for healthier choices. Many of the fast food restaurants have been making alterations to their menu selections to not only include the ingredients but the fat and sugar content of their food items.

Now that this latest research is out, the consumption of junk food will be added to the list of changes that pregnancy women must make, for the health and wellbeing of their baby. It will probably take another generation or two to see the results of the removal of junk food from the diet of pregnant women, but it will also need to be reinforced in all aspects of our society. Currently, junk food, no matter how bad it is for us, is still the most popular food choice for those of us on-the-go.

Sources: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228103443.htm

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

3 Responses to “Will Eating Junk Food During Pregnancy Cause Child Addiction?”

  1. 1
    BurgerMan Says:
    Yea, I have been overweight for years. Lots of fast food, lots of red meat. When I was younger, I didn't care and it didn't make any difference. Now that I am older, I am paying the price. Had to remove any of that and change my eating habits. Not an easy thing to do.
  2. 2
    TruthSayer Says:
    I have never been a fast food person, so during my pregnancy I tried to eat as healthy as possible. The one thing that was the most difficult was after my son got a bit older, trying to convince him that the fast food places his friends went to weren't good for you. He kept telling me that we weren't ‘normal' because we didn't go to McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  3. 3
    BananaRama Says:
    Just another reason to not go to fast food places. Just like everything else, we change a lifestyle without knowing the long term effects, and now we find out we have created fat kids because we didn't have time to work, take care of the house and eat healthy. Not a good sign for our society.