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When weight problems start in the womb [news]

Am I getting enough iron, folate or calcium? Is this food safe? These are the things you think about when it comes to eating in pregnancy. But a new book suggests adding something else to the list: how do I keep my blood glucose levels healthy? “In pregnancy glucose is the main fuel for the baby’s development and when the levels are too high the baby will grow too fast and be born with excessive body fat,” says Dr Kate Marsh.

Baby birth weights and childhood obesity have grown in most industrialised countries and there’s evidence that this can start in the womb. Although a pregnant woman’s weight can influence a baby’s size, the book’s authors believe that eating a high GI diet with too many rapidly digested carbohydrates like white or wholemeal breads, refined breakfast cereal, crackers, cake and most types of rice may be another factor because they cause high peaks of blood glucose.