09/03/2010 03:50 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Eating For Two While Pregnant May Harm The Baby

There's some bad news today - pregnant women are being told that they shouldn't be "eating for two" as this may actually be harmful for the baby.

What a load of spoilsports. One of the few benefits of being pregnant (apart from the baby at the end of it) is that you get to pretty much eat what you like. Well, no more, apparently.

Researchers say if women eat diets which are high in fat or carbohydrates this can affect genes in their children.

So all those cheese sandwiches were probably a bad idea, then?

The study found that girls are more likely to be affected genetically by what their mother eats, although sons of obese mothers are more likely to become obese and develop diabetes as they get older.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and was based on observations of pregnant mice. Right. Mice. Okay then.

Previous research has also suggested that a woman's diet at conception can influence the sex of the child.

A high-calorie diet and regular breakfasts could increase the chances of having a boy while women who eat less are more likely to have a girl.

But researchers say there can be several confounding factors that decide the sex or health of a baby. Do you think?

Dr Cheryl Rosenfeld, of the University of Missouri, and colleagues write: "Diet during pregnancy influences the future health of a woman's offspring, with outcomes differing depending on the child's sex."

They conclude: "Maternal diet also may influence the sex of offspring born in certain mammalian species, including mice and humans.

"High calorie diets generally favour birth of males over females, whereas low calorie diets tend to favour females over males.

"In humans and mice, food restriction and a suboptimal diet during the period around conception and early pregnancy also lead to a surfeit of daughters, most probably due to selective loss of male foetuses, the most vulnerable sex in the womb."

I'm sure these people are very clever. But it's only a few weeks ago that we were being told we should eat lots of bacon and eggs when pregnant.

I think during my next pregnancy I'll carry on eating what I like. How about you?

Source: The Times