Your diet affects her bones
Maternal diet affects infant's long-term bone health.
Women who maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet during pregnancy
have children with bigger and stronger bones than women with poorer
quality diets, according to the results of a study presented Tuesday at
the National Osteoporosis Society Conference in Manchester, UK.
"Our data add to evidence that environmental influences during
intrauterine life alter the trajectory of skeletal development in the
offspring," study presenter Dr. Zoe Cole of the University of
Southampton told Reuters Health.
When the researchers assessed the diets of 198 pregnant women, 2
general patterns began to emerge. The first was a healthy dietary
pattern filled with lots of fruits and vegetables, yoghurt, whole wheat
bread and breakfast cereals. The second diet pattern was less healthy
and included large amounts of foods such as chips and roast potatoes,
sugar, white bread, processed meat, tinned vegetables and soft drinks.
Bone assessments of the children made up to age 9 years suggested
that consuming a healthy maternal diet was associated with greater bone
size and density in the offspring.
"Children born to mothers with the healthiest diets, as identified
by in the highest quarter of prudent diet score, during late pregnancy
had an 11% greater whole body bone mineral content and 8%
great whole body bone area than those born to mothers with the least
healthy diet, the lowest quarter of this distribution," Cole said.
Even when mothers were grouped by smoking status, vitamin D status
and social class, the differences in diet still had a significant
impact on their children's bones, the researchers found. The
relationship between a healthy maternal diet and healthier bones in
offspring remained even after the child's height, weight, arm
circumference and birth weight were considered.
"A healthy diet during pregnancy has long lasting effects on the
development of the child's bones," Cole said, and this may lower their
future risk of osteoporosis, a potentially disabling bone-thinning