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Aurora magazine

1 woman in 3 eats too much during pregnancy

Binges during pregnancy can have serious consequences for the health of mother and child. Yet, a study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" has shown how surprisingly common they are. About 36% of women have admitted they have been binged at least once in pregnancy. Almost 5% admitted to having done so frequently.

Several previous studies had investigated the incidence of anorexia and bulimia during gestation. Few of these had considered binge eating or loss of control over eating. The expression indicates the episodes in which you continue to eat although you are willing to stop.

Scholars analyzed data from over 11,000 British women. Data showed that 36% of women lost control of eating at least once during gestation. The phenomenon was found frequent only in 5% of women, however. The latter acquired around 3.5 kg more than the average. In addition, their children have shown twice the chances of becoming obese before the age of 15.

The study linked pregnant binges to lower levels of B1 and folic acid. Many of the women affected by the phenomenon have in fact reported a greater consumption of sweets and fats. This means that they have acquired more calories than necessary but fewer vitamins A, C and B6.

The study does not say exactly how pregnancy binges are related to childhood obesity. The connection seems to be there anyway. Identifying women who hold such behaviors, therefore, could help them and their children get better.