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Research has proven time and time again that parents have the most impact on whether or not theirĀ  kids eat healthy foods — but did you know that while pregnant, a mom-to-be can affect her child’s future diet before he is even born? A new study shows that pregnant women who indulge in too much junk food during their pregnancy may be causing changes to their unborn baby’s brain chemistry, which can cause a child to be born with a higher tolerance to salt, fats and sugars than other babies. Published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal, the study notes that when pregnant women munch on high levels of junk food, it causes the opioid signaling pathway in their unborn children to become sensitized to opioids. Dr. Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, says in a statement,

“This study shows that addiction to junk food is true addiction. Junk food engages the same body chemistry as opium, morphine or heroin. Sad to say, junk food during pregnancy turns the kids into junk food junkies.”

This isn’t entirely novel news however, as past research has indicated that babies still in the womb can not only taste food, they can develop food preferences as well. Additionally, once a baby is born, a parent’s impact doesn’t end. Back in 2011, researchers at the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that the kids most likely to say, “I want fat, sugar and salt” were the same kids who were exposed over and over to these types of foods by their parents. The end result — what parents eat and what parents serve their kids plays a huge role in how healthily or terribly their kids eat. We suggest eating healthy foods while pregnant and beyond. Get some quick tips below:

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