A recent study has suggested that mothers who consume diets high in trans fats could double the risk that their babies will have high levels of body fat. Alex Anderson, et al., “Dietary trans fatty acid intake and maternal and infant adiposity,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2010. University of Georgia (UGA) researchers studied 95 mothers in three groups—those who fed their babies only breast milk, those who used only formula and those who used a combination—to determine the effect of trans fat intake through breast milk. They concluded that the mothers who consumed more than 4.5 grams of trans fats daily while breastfeeding were more than twice as likely to have babies with high percentages of body fat, or adiposity, than those who consumed less than 4.5 grams per day.
“Trans fats stuck out as a predictor to increased adiposity in both mothers and their babies,” study co-author Alex Anderson said in a press statement. He asserted that mothers who consumed more than 4.5 grams of trans fats per day increased their own risk of fat accumulation by almost six times, and that more follow up was warranted. “It would help to be able to follow the child from when the mother was pregnant, through birth, and then adolescence, so that we can confirm what the type of infant feeding and maternal diet during breastfeeding have to do with the recent epidemic of childhood obesity,” he said. See UGA Press Release, September 29, 2010.