Poor cognitive skills may be caused by high sugar consumption in pregnant women and children, says a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
According to the study, poorer childhood cognition occurred, particularly in the areas of memory and learning, when pregnant women or their offspring consumed greater quantities of sugar.
“The aim of our study was to examine associations of pregnancy and offspring sugar consumption (sucrose, fructose) with child cognition,” explained Juliana FW Cohen, lead investigator from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston.
“Additionally, we examined associations of maternal and child consumption of SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages), other beverages including diet soda and juice, and fruit with child cognition.”
The study came to the conclusion that consuming more fruits and less sugar, as well as avoiding diet soda during pregnancy, may have a meaningful impact on child cognitive functioning.
The benefits of fruit consumption do not extend to fruit juice, which may suggest the benefits are from other aspects of fruits, such as phytochemicals, and not fructose itself.