Child Obesity Linked to High Fish Consumption During Pregnancy 7 years ago

Child Obesity Linked to High Fish Consumption During Pregnancy

Fish is usually hailed for its health benefits but it seems that it may not be as good as first thought, particularly for pregnant women.

A new study has apparently revealed that eating a lot of fish during pregnancy can increase the chances of your child become overweight or obese.

The research found that eating fish more than three times a week raises the chance of a child becoming overweight or obese by up to 22 per cent.

Scientists believe that the link could be due to the pollutant chemicals in fish which may have hormonal effects, however this is purely speculative.

More than 26,000 pregnant women and their children from Europe and the US were involved in the study, the findings of which were published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Of the children studied, just over 15 per cent were overweight or obese at ages four and six. High fish consumption increased the risk of a kid being overweight or obese at four years by 14 per cent and six years by 22 per cent.

healthy nutrition and pregnancy. pregnant woman's belly and vegetable salad


While the findings are certainly interesting and raise questions over the effects of the accumulation of marine pollutants, experts have urged caution.

Nutritionist Professor Tom Sanders from King's College London told The Mirror: "Infant feeding practice in the first year of life is the biggest factor influencing rate of growth.

"Breastfed infants grow more slowly than bottle-fed infants, who are more like to show accelerated growth because they are overfed. This analysis did not adjust for infant feeding practice, which is likely to be serious confounding factor.

"The study makes the assertion that the difference in weight gain may be the result of long-term effects of persistent pollutants. However, this is purely speculative and not based on measurement of exposure to these pollutants."

In other words, the study cannot prove in all certainty that the increased risk of a child becoming overweight or obese is caused purely by the mother eating more fish during pregnancy.

Still, we think this is something to be aware of. For more information on what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy, click here.