A leading medical expert has advised expectant mothers that the key to a healthy pregnancy diet is balance.
|Although many expectant parents are now worried about the risk of obesity, leading medical experts have warned mums-to-be against slimming during pregnancy itself.
A study led by Dr Helen Budge of University Hospital Nottingham actually found that mothers who count the calories during pregnancy could in fact be encouraging obesity in their children later in life.
Her work found that dieting while the baby is in the womb has the effect of altering the chemistry of the developing fat cells.
As they grow older, babies' bodies may find themselves still trying to compensate for the lack of nutrition they received in the womb, which could lead to weight problems.
The Daily Mail quoted Dr Budge as explaining to the British Association's Festival of Science in Liverpool: "Whether we become obese is often established before, and soon after, we are born and is influenced by both the eating habits of our mothers and by the nutrition we receive as babies in the months after birth.
"Processes set in motion early on in our lives can have life-long effects."
On the other hand, overweight mothers can also be putting their unborn children's health at risk, therefore Dr Budge explained that a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals was optimum.
She advised expectant mothers against following food fads and over-eating.