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Childhood Obesity May Be Linked To Fatty Fish Consumption During Pregnancy

Childhood obesity has been steadily on the rise these past few years, particularly in kids between the ages of 2 and 5. Experts say that it can cause all sorts of health issues if not tackled early enough, leading to lifelong bad habits that could shorten life expectancy, as well as have severe economic consequences for the health system. Now, one study claims that eating oily fish during pregnancy may be the key to avoiding weight issues when the child is born.

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According to the research, female mice with more omega-3 in their diet usually produced offspring with a much healthier weight and a wider, more diverse range of bacteria in their gut. They are also likely to have a greater amount of one specific bacteria called Akkermansia, which is linked to weight loss in humans. Fish like mackerel and salmon contain high amounts of omega-3, while it can also be sourced through walnuts and chia seeds. Omega-3 can also reduce the amount of inflammation throughout the body, another thing that is linked to obesity in general.

Professor Ruairi Robertson of Queen Mary University, London, speculates that our modern-day Western diet consists of omega-6 fats found in oils such as corn, soybean and sunflower, which is less healthy. If a mother consumes less omega-6 and more omega-3 throughout the duration of her pregnancy, then she could be giving her baby the help it needs to achieve and maintain an ideal weight. He goes on to argue that it may also aid the growing of microbes in the intestines of the child, meaning it could have less gastro-intestinal issues in later life.

While further research is needed to determine whether consuming more omega-3 would aid humans in the same way as it aids mice, it is supported by what we already know to be true - children born to mothers with higher omega-6 levels are typically more at risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Will you be swapping out for fries for salmon? Let us know in the comments!

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