Sugary Foods in Pregnancy Linked to Higher Rates of Childhood Asthma
Pregnant women who consume a high-sugar diet are at increased risk for having a child with allergies and allergic asthma, according to a British study involving almost 9,000 mothers and their children, which was published in the European Respiratory Journal.
While earlier studies suggested a link between childhood asthma and high consumption of sugary foods and beverages, little research has been conducted on the possible relationship between maternal intake of sugar during pregnancy and allergy and asthma in offspring. For the new study, the research team used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), also known as “Children of the '90s.”
Study results suggest only a weak link between maternal sugar intake during pregnancy and overall asthma risk, but a strong association with allergies and allergic asthma (asthma that occurs along with positive allergy skin tests). Compared to children born to mothers with the lowest sugar intake during pregnancy, those born to mothers with the highest sugar intake during pregnancy had a 38 percent higher risk for allergy, a 73 percent higher risk for allergy to two or more allergens, and a 101 percent higher risk for allergic asthma.