Here’s another reason why pregnant women should always eat healthy: a study on MedicalNewsToday.com says that expectant moms who binge on junk food may lead their children to become addicted to junk food at an early age.

Together with her colleagues, researcher Beverly Muhlhausler from the University of Adelaide in Australia performed a series of laboratory tests, which revealed that the opioid signaling pathways of unborn children whose mothers consume junk food may develop differently than those whose mothers don’t. This may cause the child's snack-happy moms to be less sensitive to opioids, which are chemicals found in the central nervous system and in the gastrointestinal tract that are released after consumption of fat and sugar. A child who isn’t sensitive to opioids may later on eat more junk food than most kids before he or she feels satisfied, prompting a possible addiction.

"The results of this research will ultimately allow us to better inform pregnant women about the lasting effect their diet has on the development of their child's lifelong good preferences and risk of metabolic disease,” Muhlhausler explains. “Hopefully, this will encourage mothers to make healthier diet choices which will lead to healthier children."

So if you’re expecting, try munching on fruits and vegetables instead of snacking on chips. Carrots, raisins, and pomelos are great for office break binges. For your main meals, make sure to consume enough starch found pasta and rice, as well as protein found in lean meat and fish. Do your best to avoid not just chips, but also instant noodles and quick-fix lunches as these may contain too much preservatives, salt, and fat. By having the right kind of diet, not only are you keeping yourself healthy, but your unborn child as well.

(Photo by Procsilas Moscas via Flickr Creative Commons)

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