A long-term Canada study investigated the effects of consuming artificially sweetened beverages during pregnancy on infant BMI. Though the researchers did not find a direct connection, there was an association with the total amount of sugar consumed daily, according to Yahoo!
The women selected for the study completed dietary questionnaires in their second or third trimester. Almost 30 percent of women said they consumed artificially sweetened beverages during pregnancy, with five percent saying they did so at least once a day. More than 20 percent of the group said they drank at least one sugar-sweetened beverage per day.
The team reported in its findings that infants whose mothers drank artificial sweeteners on a daily basis during their pregnancy were twice more likely to be overweight than those whose mothers did not drink any artificial sweeteners. The mothers’ weight, diet, and calorie intake were accounted for in making these observations. Lead author Meghan B. Azad said, “Women consuming [the] most artificial sweeteners were most likely to be obese or have diabetes, so we had to correct for that.”
Mark A. Pereira of the University of Minnesota said that although there are artificial sweeteners that are FDA-approved, women should avoid them during pregnancy.