High Fat Diet During Pregnancy May Affect Mental Health Of The Child
. A new study has warned new mothers that eating too much fat during this stage may increase the risk of your babies having mental health disorders, namely anxiety and depression.
A fat rich diet may increase risk of mental impairment
Elinor Sullivan, assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in the US did a study on maternal primates to test the effect of a high fat diet. The results showed mental impairment in the offspring around the central serotonin system in the brain. Moreover, a healthy diet after the birth failed to reverse this condition.
"It is not about blaming the mother," said Sullivan, senior author of the study. "It is about educating pregnant women about the potential risks of a high-fat diet in pregnancy and empowering them and their families to make healthy choices by providing support. We also need to craft public policies that promote healthy lifestyles and diets," Sullivan said.
Researchers divided a total of 65 female Japanese macaques into two groups, while feeding one group a fat rich diet and the other a normal diet. Offspring of the first group displayed higher anxiety and stress levels, as compared to those of the latter group. They also found that a high fat diet impaired the development of neurons containing serotonin, a neurotransmitter critical in developing brains. The link between fatty diet and mental problems got more solidified after this research.