Study Claims Sugar Can Damage Your Childs Brain During Pregnancy and After

by | September 12, 2018

The risks of eating too much have shown that sugar can damage your baby before they are even born, and its impact on heart health has been well documented. Now, a recent study examined how a pregnant mom’s intake — as well as in early life — can impact a child’s brain function.

Examining Sugar Consumption

The study, as first reported in the Cleveland Clinic,  looked at data from 1,234 pairs of mothers and children. Pediatric dietitian Jennifer Hyland, RD, did not take part in the study, but says it showed that sugar-sweetened beverages were especially a problem and that sugar can damage their long-term mental and physical health.

“The study was looking at how much sugar, specifically sugar-sweetened beverages, that mom was consuming during pregnancy. And it also looked at young children — how much sugar they were consuming,” she explains. “They found that high sugar intake essentially had a negative impact on their cognitive function in the early childhood years.”

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SUGAR CAN DAMAGE
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Piotr Chrobot

How Much Is Too Much Sugar?

“A lot of fruit juice – even if its natural fruit juice – has a lot of sugar condensed in one place,” says Hyland. “Surprisingly, a cup of fruit juice may have as much sugar as a can of soda.”

“The sugar found naturally in fruit did not have a negative association with cognitive function,” she says. “Fruit is extremely healthy — it has vitamins, minerals, it also has fiber in it, which delays the rise of blood sugar. That’s beneficial for things like weight management and energy level.”

Hyland recommended that kids under the age of two shouldn’t have any added sugar, and over that age. The sugar should be limited to no more than twenty-five grams daily, which equates to around 6 Tsps. 

It’s extremely important to note, that sugar found naturally in fruits that kids eat doesn’t count towards their daily allowance. Hyland notes that giving fruit to kids is important and should be incorporated into their daily food intake. 

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How Sugar Can Damage Their Brains?

Researchers found that women who had high-sugar diets, including those who drank a lot of diet soda during pregnancy, were more likely to have children with poorer cognitive skills including non-verbal abilities to solve problems and verbal memory.

The same has held true, that sugar can damage young children who consumed greater amounts during early life. 

Eating fruit with natural sugar, however, was associated with greater visual motor abilities and verbal intelligence.

tudy can be found in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Emma Williams

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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Comments

One Response to “Study Claims Sugar Can Damage Your Childs Brain During Pregnancy and After”

  1. Camille
    September 20th, 2018 @ 10:03 pm

    Love what you guys, but the section about fruit juice doesn’t make sense. Are you saying fruit juice is good/ok or just fruit. Also, after “and after that age” should be a comma or it should be a new sentence.

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