We have published a number of studies suggesting an association between sugar-sweetened beverages and a child becoming overweight or obese. But what if the tendency to gain weight is triggered even earlier by a child’s mother during her pregnancy? Gillman et al. ( 10.1542/peds.2017-0031) share with us some interesting findings in a new study looking at beverage intake in pregnancy and weight gain and adiposity in mid-childhood. The authors have looked at data from a prospective pre-birth cohort of more than a thousand mother-infant pairs assessing the amount of sugary and non-sugary beverages used by these mothers in the first and second trimesters per self-reported questionnaires. Using a multivariate analysis taking into account maternal and child confounders, the authors found that with each addition serving of a sugar sweetened beverage, there was an increase in body mass index (z-score), fat mass index, and waist circumference in their school-age child. This increase was more notable for what the mother drank during pregnancy than what the child drank and to sugary sodas more than fruit drinks or juice. Of note is that sugar-free sodas did not show the same effect. So while we should continue to offer nutritional advice to our patients and families to reduce the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages and other high-energy foods, perhaps we need to make sure the same advice is being stressed just as much by our obstetrical colleagues if we want to get a head start on preventing obesity in our patients. This study weighed heavily with us and as a result, we want you to link to it and learn from it as well.
- Trends in Food and Beverage Consumption Among Infants and Toddlers: 2005–2012
- Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations
- Improving Self-Regulation for Obesity Prevention in Head Start: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- School-Based Health Centers and Obesity Prevention: Changing Practice Through Quality Improvement
- Fruit Juice and Change in BMI: A Meta-analysis
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