How Dieting During Pregnancy Can Increase The Risk Of Having Babies Who Develop Schizophrenia

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald March 13, 07:00 pm

Women who failed to gain the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy were reportedly more at risk of giving birth to children who developed schizophrenia later on. A study made by a Swedish team based at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm blamed the compulsion not to gain pregnancy weight on celebrity pressure.

Several celebrities have been criticized for drastically losing weight within weeks after they gave birth. Among those that have been slammed for not gaining enough weight during pregnancy were actresses Gisele Bundchen and Jessica Alba, and even Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.

National Health Service (NHS) guidelines showed that a non-overweight woman should have an average weight gain of between 22 and 27 pounds during pregnancy, according to Daily Mail. The NHS reported that a pregnancy weight gain of up to 35 pounds is still healthy.

"Extremely low weight gain during pregnancy — less than 18 pounds for normal-weight women — was associated with a 30 percent increased risk of offspring with non-affective psychoses, compared to women who gained the recommended amount of weight for their body type," lead author Euan Mackay said.

The researchers found out a link between the insufficient pregnancy weight gain of a woman and the development of serious mental illness among their children. Karolinska Department of Public Health Sciences Assistant Professor Renee Gardner said women who gained inadequate weight during pregnancy were influenced by societal pressure.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can affect a person's thoughts and behaviors, as per National Institute of Mental Health. Among its symptoms are hallucinations, delusions, reduced feelings of pleasure in life, memory problems and poor decision-making. Schizophrenia can be caused by various factors including genes, malnutrition before birth, exposure to viruses and problems during birth.

Pregnant women who have an unhealthy diet are putting their kids at risk of developing various illnesses including increased blood sugar and cholesterol levels, Science Daily revealed. Pregnant women who are keeping a junk-food diet are producing kids with high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, both factors in developing heart disease.

See Now: 35 Things New Moms Should Know About Breastfeeding

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