A Healthy Diet During Pregnancy Helps Children Bone Resilience

Fri, 25 Sep 2009

Women who adhere to a healthy, well balanced diet during pregnancy have children with stronger and bigger bones than those who have poorer diets, so says research results presented recently at the National Osteoporosis Society Conference in Manchester, UK.

Dr Zoe Cole from the University of Southampton led the study which assessed the diets of 198 pregnant women. Two general patterns emerged.

The first was a healthy dietary pattern consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread, yogurt and breakfast cereals. The second diet pattern was not as healthy and comprised of lots of foods like chips and roast potatoes, processed meat, white bread, sugar, tinned vegetables and soft drinks.

Bone assessments of the children conducted up to the age of 9 years suggested that eating a healthy maternal diet was related to bigger bone size and density in the offspring.

Even amongst mothers who smoked, the differences in diet still had a considerable impact on their children's bones, so found the researchers found. The relationship between a healthy maternal diet and healthier bones in offspring remained even after the child's height, weight, arm circumference and birth weight were considered.

A healthy diet during pregnancy has long term effects on the development of children's bones. Cole affirmed that this can lower the future likelihood of osteoporosis, a potentially disabling bone-thinning disease.
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