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.<-- back to top
Mother, Children Health
Prenatal 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
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