Eating sugar while pregnant or breast feeding can cause significant health problems in children.

We are all familiar with second hand smoke. If you saw a pregnant woman smoking you would probably feel concerned for the health of her unborn child, but what if you saw a pregnant woman eating candy or cookies? Many of us would put it down to pregnancy cravings and consider it no big deal. New research shows this is actually not the case. Being exposed to high amounts of sugar while in the uterus or being breastfed can adversely affect a child’s growth and development, as well as their long term health.

Sugar exposure usually only increases once a child is born. Most infant formulas are high in sugar, and sweet treats are part of most infant’s diets. This can encourage the early development of a sweet tooth, which predisposes a child to strong sugar cravings and poor appetite control. It can promote weight gain early in life and a lifelong struggle with losing weight.

Many people will argue that sugar is a natural part of life and there’s nothing wrong with eating everything in moderation. Unfortunately, an infant’s body is just not equipped to handle the level of fructose present in the average diet today, and it is important to remember that fructose isn’t normally present in breast milk. An infant’s body, particularly their liver just doesn’t know how to handle it. If a mother consumes large amounts of fructose (present in ordinary sugar and fruit juice), it will enter her breast milk. Infants exposed to fructose have a much higher chance of becoming obese later in life. Obesity is certainly becoming a worldwide problem and children are becoming obese at a younger age.

Of course there is nothing wrong with occasionally enjoying a chocolate bar or piece of cake. It is a problem though, if these foods are a large part of your diet and you struggle with weight or health problems. It is also a problem if you suffer with strong cravings that always sabotage your efforts to stick to a healthy diet. If you need help with cravings, I have many suggestions for you.

Read more.