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Study: Expectant Mothers Shouldn't Go Low-Fat With Yogurt

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Link between low-fat yogurt intake during pregnancy and child's risk for asthma and hay fever.

Moms-t0-be may be looking to control excess weight gain with lower fat dairy products, but a recent study is showing that the fatty acids in the higher-fat versions have benefits for the child.

Researchers set out to find whether fatty acids found in dairy products could protect against the development of allergic diseases in children. It did, but not when it was low-fat yogurt with fruit. Low-fat yogurt with fruit was found to actually increase the child's risk for developing asthma and hay fever.

Science Daily has more:

[...] women who ate low-fat yogurt with fruit once a day were 1.6-times more likely to have children who developed asthma by age 7, compared with children of women who reported no intake. They were also more likely to have allergic rhinitis [hay fever] and to display current asthma symptoms.

The researchers suggest that non-fat related nutrient components in the yogurt may play a part in increasing this risk. They are also looking at the possibility that low-fat yogurt intake may serve as a marker for other dietary and lifestyle factors.

Ekaterina Maslova, lead author from the Harvard School of Public Health, who has been working with data at the Centre for Fetal Programming at Statens Serum Institut, said: "This is the first study of its kind to link low-fat yogurt intake during pregnancy with an increased risk of asthma and hay fever in children. This could be due to a number of reasons and we will further investigate whether this is linked to certain nutrients or whether people who ate yogurt regularly had similar lifestyle and dietary patterns which could explain the increased risk of asthma."

According to BBC, results from the study were derived from 70,000 Danish women and following their children's development until the age of seven.

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