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Ralph Teller

Maternal Depression and Poor Nutrition Impact Child Cognitive Function

Ralph Teller

Mother's depression related to lower levels of healthy nutrition

Researchers at King's College London in the United Kingdom found that women who had symptoms of depression during pregnancy were more likely to have unhealthy diets.

Children Cognitive Function Impacted. The research also found that children of these mothers had lower scores on tests for cognitive functioning at age 8 years.

To protect the well-being of their children, the researchers recommend that mothers, especially depressed mothers might consider focusing on maintaining a healthy natural diet during pregnancy. A health diet during pregnancy may help to alleviate maternal depression symptoms and reduce risk for atypical fetal development impacting cognitive function.

Healthy Diet Defined. The researchers defined a healthy diet as one with nutrient-rich foods, with limited intake of salt, solid fats, and added sugar. An unhealthy diet was defined as being high in saturated fat, trans fat, salt, and added sugar.

"Helping women adopt a healthier diet during pregnancy could be highly effective in reducing the association between reduced cognitive functions in children and prenatal maternal depression," according to researcher Dr. Barker.

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Mother, Children Health

PublicationPrenatal maternal depression symptoms and nutrition, and child cognitive function, Edward D. Barker, PhD, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and Department of Psychological Science, Birkbeck, University of London, The British Journal of Psychiatry

PublicationFive Things Physicians and Patients Should Question, Choosing Wisely, American Psychiatric Association

PublicationAntipsychotics Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Young Adults, Alba Morales Pozzo, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD, Medscape

PublicationImplications of Marked Weight Gain Associated With Antipsychotic Medications in Children and Adolescents , Christopher K. Varley, MD and Jon McClellan, MD, JAMA

Children and adolesents experience substantial antipsychotic medication caused weight gain and adverse metabolic effects, with more than half gaining more than 7% of their total body weight.

PublicationWeight Gain in Relation to Major Depression and Antidepressant Medication Use , Patten SB, Medscape Medical News

PublicationAntidepressants May Only Be Effective in Treatment of the Severest Depression , Caroline Cassels, Medscape Medical News

PublicationWhole Diet May Ward Off Depression and Anxiety , Caroline Cassels, Medscape Medical News

PublicationMom's Antidepressant Use Linked to Autism Risk in Children, Psychiatry, Medscape

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