A child's sensory system linked to mother's diet?

23 February 2012

The actions of pregnant women during the later stages of their pregnancy may lead to their newborn child developing a sweet tooth.

According to a study conducted by researchers at Dijon's European Centre for Taste Science, babies can pick up aromas which their mothers have been exposed to in the final days of gestation.

The French scientists discussed the possibility that a pregnant woman's dietary choices may significantly alter how a child's sensory system develops.

On top of this, the research suggests that a baby may have their taste influenced even before they have been delivered into the world.

To determine these conclusions, the researchers studied 24 babies, half of whose mothers had indulged in biscuits laced with aniseed in the days leading up to the child's birth.

Dr Benoist Schaal, from the European Centre for Taste Science, commented: "During pregnancy a woman is relatively permeable to her environment and what a mother takes in, in a certain dose, also goes to the foetus."

The study comes soon after Dr Sandra McCune, research programme manager at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, pointed out that walking a dog can help pregnant women to get the low-risk exercise recommended to them between baby scans.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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