That Double Chocolate Brownie Diet Might Make Your Child an Alcoholic
A sweet tooth during pregnancy might encourage a tendency for drug and alcohol addiction? Whoa!
It’s a crazy thought and one which places mothers in the direct spotlight when considering an offspring’s drug addictions or excessive alcohol consumption.
Whereas one’s social environment and economic factors often receive the blame, science has discovered that our daily food intake can have as big or bigger impact on these destructive patterns developed during adolescence and adulthood, most especially during pregnancy.
In a press release by the American Psychological Association today, the results of a study on animals presented at the 121st annual convention were revealed to have discovered a direct link between a mother’s high-sugar and high-fat intake during pregnancy and sensitivity to drugs as well as alcohol developed later on, within the children born from her womb. Needless to say, it probably caused quite a sensation at the presentation. Imagine blaming your mother for your drug addiction.
The experiments were conducted on rats, where some of them were given regular food, while others were presented with high-fat and high-sugar meals. The result? Pups of the latter weighed more than the former, preferred the taste of alcohol to water, and had stronger responses to drugs that are commonly abused, including amphetamine.
According to Doctor Nicole Avena, a research neuroscientist with the University of Florida’s McKnight Brain Institute, "the majority of women in the U.S. at child-bearing age are overweight, and this is most likely due to overeating the tasty, high-fat, high-sugar foods you find everywhere in our society. The rise in prenatal and childhood obesity and the rise in number of youths abusing alcohol and drugs merits looking into all the possible roots of these growing problems.”
Doctor Avena hit the nail on the head. It’s not the mothers that should receive the brunt of the blame however, but the lack of healthy alternatives available to the regular population, especially in North America. Of course, the media is generally used to advertise these high-fat or high-sugar delicacies, often with low prices and inviting appearances. It’s no wonder rehabilitation centers are full and children are more and more prone to preferring alcohol to other drinks, while leaning towards easily obtainable drugs so often abused.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where the mothers lack the knowledge to turn to healthier eating and companies could not care less where our children end up. Perhaps now we might start to see a change in dietary patterns overall, focusing on more affordable healthy options, especially where pregnant women are concerned.