By Emily Wade Adams, CNC for Natal-Nutrition.com
Nearly 10 percent of infants in the U.S. are overweight. As they get older, this percentage grows along with them: almost 70 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. But weight gain is largely preventable – and prevention begins in the womb.
Mama-to-be? Keeping your blood sugar steady can prevent your baby from having an excessive birth weight. It can also help your baby stay lean throughout his life. High maternal blood sugar prompts the fetus to develop more fat cells, which can make it easier to become fat later in life.
Not only can your blood sugar levels affect your baby’s development, but they can also affect your comfort levels during pregnancy. Low blood sugar is associated with morning sickness, and high blood sugar may lead to pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes (Hudson, 2008). Gestational diabetes, in turn, predisposes your baby to obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes later in life.
Keeping your blood sugar stable is easier than it sounds – but it requires a little advance planning. Here are some tips to help you maintain a steady blood sugar level in order to protect you and your baby: (more…)
Gestational diabetes and low socioeconomic status seem to be risks for the development of attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) according to research published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Reearchers Yoko Nomura, PhD, MPH, David J. Marks, Ph, Bella Grossman, MA, Michelle Yoon, BS, BA, Holly Loudon, MD, MPH, Joanne Stone, MD, and Jeffrey M. Halperin, PhD analyzed data from an ongoing cohort study according to Med Page Today. While the original study included 212 children, only 10 percent of the mothers reported experiencing gestational diabetes.
The children who had mothers who had experienced gestational diabetes during pregnancy were more likely to demonstrate inattention, while the children who also came from families of lower socioeconomic status, were more likely to demonstrate both inattention and hyperactivity. Children from families of a lower socioeconomic status who were not exposed to gestational diabetes showed twice the risk for developing ADHD. When the researchers analyzed differences between children who were exposed to gestational diabetes to children who were exposed to lower socioeconomic status to children who were exposed to both and to those who were exposed to neither, there was an obvious statistically significant likelihood that children exposed to both would develop ADHD; however, there seemed to be no increased risk for children exposed to only one of the two variables.
I would like to see similar research done with a larger sample size. Information about maternal history of gestational diabetes came from maternal reports approximately four years after gestation, which could limit the accuracy of the data. Future research should pull that information from medical records. This research looked at children between the ages of four and six. While six is often a key age for such diagnoses, a more longitudinal study may provide us more accurate results.
The American Diabetic Association states that diabetes “is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin.” It’s important to understand that there are certain risk factors for diabetes but just because someone has it, doesn’t mean it’s their own fault for being unhealthy or overweight. There are several forms of diabetes but the one that gets the most attention is Type 2. I’d like to take a moment and explain each type, including the less common ones. Logically, it makes sense to start with Type 1.
Type 1 Diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes because it is often (but not always) diagnosed during childhood. A Type 1 diabetic does not produce insulin. The exact causes of Type 1 diabetes are unknown, although genetics are clearly a factor. Another theory is that certain viruses may cause or make the body more susceptible to Type 1 diabetes.
Last year, the American Diabetic Association said that on average, Americans scored about 51 percent when tested on the facts about diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease and with Type 2 diabetes on the rise, it’s important that we all know a little more about it. Here are a few of the most common diabetes myths and the truth behind them:
Myth: Diabetics can’t eat any sweets.
Fact: Sweets are not entirely off-limits, as long as they are eaten in moderation. A healthy meal-plan is important for diabetics, but it’s also important to everyone else. Processed and refined sweets should be limited but so should fruit. Many people make the mistake of thinking that fruit is a health food, so you can eat as much as you want. Fruit is very healthy, but it still contains a lot of sugar.
Pregnancy does a number on your body, but happily, many of those changes are temporary. At the end, you have a beautiful baby to show for it. What you don’t know, though, is that some of the changes that your body goes through can raise the risk of other struggles later in your life.
For example, if you suffered from pre-eclampsia during your pregnancy, you may show symptoms of heart disease as many as three years sooner than those women who had normal blood pressure readings. Make sure to keep track of your blood pressure readings at every check up. (more…)