Too much sugar during pregnancy may give baby these health problems

1. Your child has a higher risk of developing asthma

You wouldn't let your little one drink sugary beverages, but you shouldn't bend the rules for yourself either.

According to a recent American study, consuming sugar-sweetened drinks during pregnancy, or letting your kid drink them in his or her early years, could increase your mini one's chances of developing asthma in mid-childhood from ages of seven to nine.

Obesity was listed as one of the culprits, along with inflammation of the lungs caused by fructose.

2. Baby may have heart defects

Most pregnant women will take a glucose test late in their second trimester to see if they have gestational diabetes, which could increase baby's birth weight or result in pregnancy complications.

However, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the US say the glucose test may be helpful early in the first trimester when baby's heart is developing.

Apparently, the higher mum's blood sugar level, the more likely the chances of baby developing heart problems.

Early detection could help mothers receive more specialised care that will help their child be healthier after birth.

3. Your child could inherit metabolic problems that get passed down generations

Think long-term before you scarf down another burger or soda.

According to one US study done on mice, mum's obesity caused by a high-fat, high-sugar diet could result in her offspring inheriting similar obesity-related issues such as insulin resistance and other metabolic problems, even if the little ones were later fed a healthy diet.

Scarily enough, these health woes continued being passed down the line.

Although this was an animal study, scientists felt the results could be truer for humans, as our kids' diets tend to mimic our own more closely.

Even though you may just be focused on your baby right now, think of your grandchildren and great-grandchildren and step away from the fast food.

4. Your kid could develop more allergies

When you're pregnant, you could be craving sweet things, or kind colleagues may want to stuff you with desserts, but practise moderation.

According to a UK study that ran in the European Respiratory Journal, mothers who had lots of sugary foods and drinks while pregnant could cause their child to have more allergies - such as adverse reactions to cats, dust mites and grass - possibly because inflammation from sugar causes baby to develop a persistent allergic response.

If you want your child to have an easier time, it's worth sacrificing your favourite treats for a couple of months.

5. Baby's growth in the womb may be hampered

In another study on mice later found to have similar results in humans, scientists in the US discovered that a diet high in fructose - a sugar that's found in fruits and honey, but in unhealthy quantities in corn syrup that's used in many refined food and beverages - could affect the placenta and also hamper fetal growth, resulting in a low birth weight.

While you may think a smaller baby may be a good thing, know that your child may rapidly try to make up for the restricted growth after birth, leading to weight problems later on in life.

Having lots of fructose may also cause mum to experience preeclampsia, which could raise your blood pressure and cause swelling and gestational diabetes - not a great combination for you either.

This article was first published in Shape