New Study Suggests Pregnant Women May Want To Ditch Soda Entirely

A recent study found an association between drinking soda while pregnant and thinking deficits in children.

Young woman drinking soda while making a funny face
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A recent study found an association between drinking soda while pregnant and thinking deficits in children.

New research suggests drinking soda while pregnant isn’t in the best interest of a baby’s brain, according to WebMD.

According to a new study, when expecting mothers consume a lot of sugar – especially in sugar-filled sodas – their children developed poor learning and memory skills.

The study also revealed that diet soda was not a happy alternative during pregnancy as it was linked to poorer visual, fine motor, visual motor, and spatial abilities during early childhood development. The study revealed that by the age of seven, the children of mothers who consumed diet soda during pregnancy had poor verbal skills when compared to a child of a mother that didn’t drink diet soda.

The research from the study didn’t stop inside the womb. It also determined that the consumption of excess sugar isn’t good for the growing brain of a child either. Children who consumed excessive amounts of sugar were linked to both memory and learning struggles.

Researchers were able to uncover that eating whole fruit containing natural sugars, on the other hand, did a world of good for these children. Children who regularly consumed whole fruit during early childhood were recorded to have a better visual motor and verbal intelligence as they grew older.

According to Dr. Juliana Cohen, an author on the study, researchers do have a few theories as to what might be causing the sugar-coated sodas to negatively affect a child’s memory and thought. By studying how sugar affects an animal brain, they theorize it may just impair certain parts of the brain. Currently, researchers also only really have theories on how diet soda affects a child’s brain as well. More research is needed for these ideas to become anything more than theories.

WebMD puts emphasis on how important it is to keep in mind that while the study did find a connection between the consumption of soda during pregnancy and thinking-related deficits in children, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link.

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Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study followed more than 1,200 expectant moms. While more research is necessary to conclude whether soda is indeed harming a growing baby’s brain, Dr. Juliana Cohen as well as many other medical professionals, urge pregnant women to limit soda consumption as much as possible.