Artificially Sweetened Drinks During Pregnancy

Artificial sweetener intake during pregnancy linked to baby's BMI

(RxWiki News) Artificial sweeteners have become increasingly common. A new study looked at the link between artificial sweetener intake during pregnancy and baby's body mass index (BMI).

Past research performed on animals found that consumption of artificial sweeteners during pregnancy may increase baby's risk for developing obesity. Furthermore, past research has linked chronic intake of artificial sweeteners to obesity risk. No data has been available to evaluate this link in humans — until now.

This study looked at more than 3,000 woman-infant pairs. The researchers behind this study did find a link between consumption of beverages with artificial sweeteners during pregnancy and the infant's BMI. In fact, researchers found BMIs to be higher in those infants exposed to artificial sweeteners in utero (in the womb). They also found an increased risk for the infant being overweight at 1 year old.

BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight used to screen for weight categories like overweight and obesity.

Additional research is needed, especially to evaluate long-term data, these researchers noted.

Speak to your obstetrician about healthy eating, including the consumption of artificial sweeteners, during pregnancy.

This study was published in JAMA Pediatrics. The Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Canadian Institutes of Health funded this research.