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Too much fish during pregnancy can raise risk of obesity in children


A new study suggests that eating too much fish during pregnancy may raise the obesity risk of the child, Latinpost reports.

The study reported that children of mothers who ate fish for more than three times a week grew faster in the first two years.  Also, such children were likely to be overweight or obese when they reach 4 and 6 years old, according to Los Angeles Times.

The team of researchers, which was led by Leda Chatzi, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Crete, Greece, studied data from 26,184 pregnant women and their children in European and U.S. studies.

The children under the study were followed until they were 6-years old.

The magnitude of the effect of fish intake was greater in girls than boys, according to the study, CNN reports.

The researchers believe that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish might have predisposed fetal stem cells to differentiate into fat cell. They said that it was also possible that the pollutants found in fish that disturbed the fetal hormones related to metabolism and led to the the storage of more fats.

"Contamination by environmental pollutants in fish could provide an explanation for the observed association between high fish intake in pregnancy and increased childhood adiposity," the authors wrote.

The researchers learned that mothers with high consumption of fish or who ate fish more than three times a week gave birth to children with high BMI, Science Codex reported.

However, the study did include the different species, cooking procedures and the water source of the fish consumed.

"Moreover, in the absence of information regarding levels of persistent organic pollutants across participating cohorts, our hypothesis that fish-associated contaminant exposure may play a role in the observed associations remains speculative," the researchers concluded.

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