Could your unborn child help scientists to improve the health of the future population?

October 30, 2018, University of Aberdeen
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Babies that aren't even born yet could help Aberdeen scientists to improve the health of future generations.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute are investigating whether increasing the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed in will make infants more likely to enjoy them in childhood.

In order to test this theory, the scientists require the help of expectant mothers who would be willing to take part in their research study during the third trimester of pregnancy, and then again when their baby is ready to start weaning.

The study has two main phases. The intervention phase takes place for 24 days at around 30 weeks pregnant and involves eating a variety of foods such as soups and snacks with a high fruit and vegetable content, once a day.

The second part of the study is a small number of taste tests, which will begin once baby is ready to start weaning, at around six months. This will involve feeding him or her various fruit and vegetable purees at home and filming it so the researchers can see their reactions to the new flavours.

Dr. Jacqueline Wallace commented: "Our taste preferences develop very early in life and we suspect it may even be that our mother's through pregnancy or while breastfeeding can have a huge influence on what we find palatable as children.

"We have designed the study in such a way as to try and make it as easy as possible for pregnant ladies to take part. For those who are interested in taking part, either we can visit them in their own home, or they can visit us here at the Rowett. All the foods to be eaten have been developed in our Human Nutrition Unit, and participants will be provided with 24 light meals and eight snack options so there should be plenty of selection depending on individual preference.

"We carried out a pilot study ahead of this project starting and the feedback we got from participants was very positive so I am sure those who take part will find it a good experience, which could really help us to inform dietary guidelines for and hopefully, improve the health of ."

Explore further: Babies weaned on home-cooked fruit, veg more likely to eat '5 a day' as children

More information: For further information about the study, please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/rowett/volunteer/Womb_to_WEAN.php or contact Jen Miller: j.miller@abdn.ac.uk or Jacqueline Wallace: Jacqueline.wallace@abdn.ac.uk

Related Stories

Babies weaned on home-cooked fruit, veg more likely to eat '5 a day' as children

July 22, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Babies weaned on home-cooked fruit and vegetables are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables as children, according to recent research.

Baby foods packed with fruit and vegetables, but unlikely to encourage children to eat their greens

August 31, 2015
Commercial baby foods contain large amounts of vegetables but are probably too sweet to encourage children to eat their greens, say scientists.

Puree helps kids make smooth transition to vegetables

November 12, 2014
Adding tiny amounts of vegetable puree to milk and then rice at the time of weaning makes children more likely to eat vegetables, new University of Leeds research shows.

Breastmilk alone is best for the first six months – here's what to do next

July 13, 2018
The Trump administration angered health experts around the world this week with its attempt to weaken a UN resolution encouraging breastfeeding.

Results of European health survey of pregnant women released

July 15, 2016
Almost 2,500 pregnant women and new mothers have participated in research on their diet and lifestyle behaviours

Recommended for you

Bullying and violence at work increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

November 19, 2018
People who are bullied at work or experience violence at work are at higher risk of heart and brain blood vessel problems, including heart attacks and stroke, according to the largest prospective study to investigate the ...

A low-gluten, high-fiber diet may be healthier than gluten-free

November 16, 2018
When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fibre-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet, they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating. Researchers at University of Copenhagen show that this is due ...

Youth dating violence shaped by parents' conflict-handling views, study finds

November 16, 2018
Parents who talk to their children about nonviolent ways of resolving conflict may reduce children's likelihood of physically or psychologically abusing their dating partners later—even when parents give contradictory messages ...

Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do

November 15, 2018
Why do we like the bitter taste of coffee? Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By evolutionary logic, we should want to spit it out.

Dietary fat is good? Dietary fat is bad? Coming to consensus

November 15, 2018
Which is better, a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet or a high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet—or is it the type of fat that matters? In a new paper featured on the cover of Science magazine's special issue on nutrition, researchers ...

Low-carb diets cause people to burn more calories

November 14, 2018
Most people regain the weight they lose from dieting within one or two years, in part because the body adapts by slowing metabolism and burning fewer calories. A meticulous study led by Boston Children's Hospital, in partnership ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.