10 Ways Junk Food Can Be Unsafe During Pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Chocolates, ice-creams, crackers, pizzas, burgers, sodas – is this what your baby bump is holding during pregnancy? If your answer is yes then it’s time to re-consider your choices regarding junk food cravings, all these frequent take-outs are causing you harm instead of giving any benefits. For a healthy baby the foremost requirement is the intake of a healthy diet as your growing baby is relying on you for all his nutritional requirements. A healthy diet is absolutely imperative for the baby’s growth and development.
Junk food during pregnancy

10 Reasons Junk Or Fast Food Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy

If you find your cravings for fat and sugar are too hard to resist then here you can find the list of the probable risks of eating junk food while you are pregnant. Keep them in mind when next time you have strong junk food cravings-

  • Chemical acrylamide: Acrylamide is a chemical which has been found in the junk food that contains high level of starch content like French fries, bread, potato chips etc. When food items containing starch are baked and cooked at very high temperatures then this chemical gets formed. Recently there have been a few studies which found that in developing babies a higher level of acrylamide can be responsible for low birth weight and smaller head circumference. Refer here
  • Obesity: The most immediate and evident effect of eating junk food during pregnancy is excessive weight gain. Women with excessive weight put themselves and their babies at higher risks of various complications such as birthing a large baby, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm labor and increased risk of birth defects. Keep in mind that all these risks can be easily avoided if you will keep check on your weight and food habits. Now weight gain is a requirement during pregnancy, but weight gain from unhealthy foods can actually be dangerous for you and your baby. Read more about weight gain during pregnancy here
  • Zero nutritional value: Junk food has hardly any nutritional value which will benefit the mother or the unborn child. However these foods are full of salt, sugar, fats and cholesterol which generally come under the category of “foods to be avoided during pregnancy”. Your baby needs certain nutrients for his proper growth and development which junk food can never provide
  • Long term health hazard in baby: Your baby’s total health, development and growth depends upon what you eat or what were your habits during pregnancy. In fact it plays a very important role for the long-term health of your child. Your baby will be – what you ate during pregnancy. There are various studies which supports the fact that women who ate more junk food during pregnancy are more likely to have children who will have more chances to develop obesity, heart disease and diabetes in their near future
  • Pre-mature baby: Women who eat more junk food during pregnancy have higher risk of giving birth to premature babies and these prematurely born babies have a higher risk of many serious complications such as low blood sugar, cerebral palsy, breathing related problems and many times they may require monitoring in intensive care
  • Your child will be “junk food junkie”: If your baby craves more junk food in later stage of his or her life then blame is on you. A study has found that a mother who gorges more junk food while pregnant is setting up their children to be addicted towards junk food. Your baby will always be at higher risk of over consumption of junk food leading to obesity, it will be much more difficult for him to maintain a healthy body weight. Intrauterine exposure to poor nutrition is believed to lead to hypertension and coronory heart diseases
  • Your baby can lack proteins: A junk food diet is full of fat, sugar and unnecessary calories, but it does not provide essential nutrients like proteins and vitamins which are needed for fetal development during pregnancy. Lack of protein during pregnancy can show a large negative impact on the development of kidneys in your baby and can cause high blood pressure and renal diseases in them once they reach their adulthood

Junk food in pregnancy

  • Low birth weight: Eating junk food while you are pregnant increases the chances that your child will be born prematurely and thus will have a low birth weight as he didn’t have enough time to grow. Low-birthweight babies are more likely have numerous health problems such as infections, breathing related disorders etc as a newborn than the normal baby
  • Digestive problems: While you are pregnant eating junk food can be a little too much for your digestive system to deal with. A heavily fried junk food item can upset your stomach and can be a source of gas, bloating and indigestion in mothers during pregnancy. Read more about gas and bloating during pregnancy here
  • Greater risk of gestational diabetes: Having too much sugar in the blood during pregnancy can cause gestational diabetes. Eating junk food such as potato chips, chocolates, doughnuts and regular intake of soda can put them in higher risk of obtaining gestation diabetes as all these food items are rich in calories and sugar. Read more about gestational diabetes here

For delivering a healthy baby, a woman’s diet is an important factor which can be modified for a positive impact during pregnancy. It’s never too late to make smart choices in your diet and lifestyle as it will decrease the risk of numerous health problems in you and your baby. Try to avoid junk food completely during pregnancy as it will help you in improving the overall health of your unborn child.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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