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prenatal impact on taste

I spent a bit of the morning doing some research for my sisters research paper.

Her current thesis is that the foods that a mother eats while pregnant impact the overall health of the person through their life. Particular focus on what a mother eats impacting what the person will grow up to enjoy in their diet.

If you have any comments or info with this, we’d love to look at it!!!

In our family, this is particularly illustrated because my mom’s diet was pretty different with each kid. For me, my mom ate very poorly - bags of M&Ms and she just didn’t know very much about the importance of a balanced diet. With Megan, mom ate a perfect diet, exactly what the doctor suggested - down to the right amount of eggs every day and so on. And she ate almost no sugar. For each of the other kids, there are specifics like this, but overall, it formed a basis for what we as adolescents and adults enjoy most in our diets. Megan craves fruits and vegetables. I have bad cravings like chocolate and I really have to push myself to eat well.

So, I helped do some research - I found that HighWire was an amazing place to search medical journals, and found some great information. And then once I had a better idea of what to search for, Google helped quite a bit.

Some of the info we’ve found so far is helpful. Maternal Milk Consumption Predicts the Tradeoff between Milk and Soft Drinks in Young Girls’ Diets, High-Meat, Low-Carbohydrate Diet in Pregnancy—Relation to Adult Blood Pressure in the Offspring, and The flavor of life - preinatal development of odor and taste preferences (PDF).

Its a great start smile


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No info other than an anecdote - I knew two brothers in high school - during her first pregnancy, the mom ate sugar and sugary foods, and during the second, she ate very little extra sugar. The second brother never had a taste for sweet things, and the first one did.

I am not sure I believe that. My mother was quite the hippy and ate organic foods and resisted even painkillers when she was in labor with me yet I grew up to love junk food. So I think it more has to do with nurture than chemistry.

Not really helpful - but when I was pregnant with Jason I had dreams that he was born without arms & legs because I didn’t eat califlower. Everyone was yelling at me in the delivery room (in my dream) for not eating it. It was pretty odd.

I had the joys of being on a gestational diabetes diet the last months of my pregnancy - so no sugar, and a balance of carbs and proteins. Jason was great about eating fruits and veggies when he was little - I wonder if that’s why? He considered cantalope a huge treat!

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