Credit: © bubutu / Fotolia

Credit: © bubutu / Fotolia

Eating sugar while pregnant is linked to allergies

Eating sugar while pregnant is linked to allergies in children, according to a new study from researchers at Queen Mary University of London.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that around 40 million people in the United States alone suffer from seasonal allergies, known also by the common name of hay fever and the more technical name allergic rhinitis.

The researchers analyzed data from almost 9,000 mother-child pairs from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

Lead author Annabelle Bedard, Ph.D., explained the link between sugar and allergies:

“The dramatic ‘epidemic’ of asthma and allergies in the West in the last 50 years is still largely unexplained — one potential culprit is a change in diet. Intake of free sugar and high fructose corn syrup has increased substantially over this period. We know that the prenatal period may be crucial for determining risk of asthma and allergies in childhood and recent trials have confirmed that maternal diet in pregnancy is important.”

The research team used questionnaires to determine how many free sugars moms were consuming.
Then they looked at how the mothers’ sugar consumption was associated with allergies and asthma.

CNN reported:

Nearly 62% of the children did not have any allergic conditions, but the remaining children had one or more maladies or symptoms. About 22% of the kids had a common allergy, 16% had eczema, 12% had asthma, 11% had wheezing with whistling, and 9% had hay fever, the researchers found.

Co-author Seif Shaheen, Ph.D., said:

We cannot say on the basis of these observations that high intake of sugar by mothers in pregnancy is definitely causing allergy and allergic asthma in their offspring. However, given the extremely high consumption of sugar in the West, we will certainly be investigating this hypothesis further with some urgency.”

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1. “Scientists Warn: Sugar During Pregnancy May Result In Child’s Allergies.”, n.d. Web. 19 July 2017.
2. “Sugar during Pregnancy May Be Linked to Child’s Allergies.” CNN. Cable News Network, 06 July 2017. Web. 19 July 2017.

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