Eating sugar while pregnant – could it really give your child asthma?

Hmm... maybe. We reveal the truth behind the scary headlines...


If you’ve been reading the news over the past few days, you might’ve seen a few scary-sounding headlines implying that eating loads of sugar when you’re pregnant can double the risk of your soon-to-be little one getting allergies or even asthma.



The thought of trying to avoid sweet treats altogether for the 9 months of pregnancy was enough to scare us into asking the question: is this really the case?

Well, the study behind the headlines, published by the European Respiratory Journal, does suggest there’s a link between the 2 things.

The research, which took place with 9,000 women at the Queen Mary University of London, says that consuming the equivalent of 2 full-fat Coke cans per day when you’re expecting can be linked to children developing asthma and other allergies down the line.

But that’s all they can say right now, really.

The head researcher, Queen Mary’s Professor Seif Shaheen, admits that loads more work needs to be done, and that the current findings are simply part of a theory (hypothesis) they’ll need to test further if they want to prove it true.

“We cannot say on the basis of these observations that a high intake of sugar by mothers in pregnancy is definitely causing allergy and allergic asthma in their offspring,” he said of the findings.

“However, given the extremely high consumption of sugar in the West, we will certainly be investigating this hypothesis further with some urgency.

“The first step is to see whether we can replicate these findings in a different cohort of mothers and children.

“If we can, then we will design a trial to test whether we can prevent childhood allergy and allergic asthma by reducing the consumption of sugar by mothers during pregnancy.

“In the meantime, we would recommend that pregnant women follow current guidelines and avoid excessive sugar consumption.”

Well, there you have it, straight from the prof’s mouth. This is just a link they noticed, not a law you need to abide by.

To summarise: panic over! We’d maybe suggest not pounding several full-fat Cokes a day while you’re expecting, just to be on the safe side, but we’d definitely suggest indulging in the odd sweet treat to keep cravings at bay ??

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