In 10 seconds? Recent findings suggest that maternal consumption of artificially-sweetened drinks during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of offspring being overweight. So, replacing sugar-sweetened drinks with diet soda during pregnancy just creates a new problem – for the child.

I’m confused… Weren’t diet drinks a healthier option than traditional ones? That’s what we thought for a while but the answer is: not at all (read a Digest here on this topic. A 1950s-styled ad making rounds on social media has been proven to be a fake, referencing a never-existed organization). Artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS, like aspartame or sucralose, among others) emerged as the “salvation” from the known devastating effects of sugar on the body, due to their low caloric content. However, concerns have been raised regarding their safety, as several studies have described that NNS consumption is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and a disruption in gut microbiota. In this case, what researchers found out was that daily consumption of NNS-sweetened drinks during pregnancy can not only affect mom’s health but also her children’s: they observed an almost 2-fold increased risk of being overweight at 1 year of age and even later, at 7 years. An interesting fact is that this association was not found for sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.

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