It's beginning to sound like I've launched a war against sugar.
Believe me, I haven't. I'm just going by the numerous studies from the past few years and the significant negative effects of excessive sugar consumption on our health.
This particular study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was ALARMING to me: Consumption of sugary beverages by pregnant women led to a significant increase in body fat of the child several years later, REGARDLESS of the child's own diet!
When I first read the headline of the study, I wasn't surprised, but I expected the association to be driven by the habits of the mother: if the mother consumes sugary drinks during pregnancy, then she will most likely feed her child similar drinks, and that would result in the child being overweight.
But NO! This study showed that the child at 6 years of age was overweight REGARDLESS of its own consumption of sugary beverages!
My theory as to why this is the case is based on previous research I've read: consumption of sugary beverages during pregnancy leads to sustained elevated insulin levels in the mother & baby (while the baby is developing). This means that the baby is BORN with REDUCED INSULIN SENSITIVITY, which is the main cause of weight gain and diabetes in humans.
The "sugary beverages" that had the biggest impact (from this study) were fruit juices (yes, even natural ones) and "sugar-containing beverages".