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More trans fat in pregnancy tied to bigger baby

Discussion in 'Gynaecology and Obstetrics' started by Egyptian Doctor, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor  Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Pregnant women who consume trans fats from snack foods, fast food and other
    less-than-ideal fare may give birth to bigger babies, according to a U.S.
    study.
    The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, centered
    on nearly 1,400 pregnant women. It found that the higher the woman's intake of
    trans fats -- which raise "bad" LDL cholesterol, but also lower heart-healthy
    HDL cholesterol -- during the second trimester of pregnancy, the larger her
    newborn was.

    The study did not prove that trans fats alone boost fetal growth, and if they
    did, it is unclear how harmful that could be. But there are risks to having a
    larger-than-normal newborn, said lead researcher Juliana Cohen, of the Harvard
    School of Public Health in Boston.

    Big babies may have to be delivered by Ceasarean-section and studies have
    found that they may have increased risks of diabetes and heart disease later in
    life, Cohen added.

    "It's prudent to limit trans fats in your diet anyway. Pregnant women may
    want to think about how (the fats) could affect fetal growth as well," she
    said.

    Artificial trans fats are found in foods that contain partially hydrogenated
    oils, including many baked and fried packaged foods like chips, crackers and
    cookies, as well as fast food.

    Some meat and dairy products contain natural trans fats, but people get the
    bulk of their trans fat in the artificial form - although food producers and
    some restaurants have been cutting back in response to poor publicity.

    The latest study was based on about 1,400 Boston-area women who gave birth
    between 1999 and 2002. The women completed dietary questionnaires during their
    first and second trimesters.

    The relationship between higher trans fat intake and birth size held even
    after researchers accounted for factors such as pre-pregnancy body weight,
    income, education and calorie intake.

    They calculated that for every 1 percent increase in trans fat as a
    replacement for carbohydrates in a woman's daily diet, her baby's fetal growth
    "Z score" -- which takes into account a newborn's birth weight and the week of
    pregnancy during which the baby was born -- inched up slightly.

    Cohen said that while the effects of this would likely be limited in later
    life, the foods that contain trans fats were best limited for overall
    health.

    Unfortunately, she added, these sorts of foods are often the ones women crave
    during pregnancy.

    Source : More trans fat in pregnancy tied to bigger baby | Reuters
     

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