Eating foods during pregnancy that are rich in sugar content could be harmful for the development of the baby, a new study conducted by a group of New Zealand researchers reveals.
Lead researcher Deborah Sloboda said that while majority of the major complications during pregnancy can be attributed to obesity, little research has been done on whether eating a sugar-rich diet during pregnancy can cause problems.
Sloboda added that one of the major causes for obesity is fructose, which is often found in some of the mostly commonly used foot items such as honey, fruits and in soft drinks.
Sloboda along with researchers from the University of Auckland's Liggins Institute tested the effects of a fructose rich diet on a group of rats during pregnancy and lactation. The researchers found that though the mothers did not gain any substantial weight, the higher levels of sugar was found to change key metabolic hormone levels in both foetuses and new born offspring.
"The fact that we saw no obvious weight gain implies that women may be unaware that their diet could be compromising the development of their fetus", Sloboda said.
The details appear in the online issue of the journal Endocrinology.