Friday February 28, 2020

Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy Proved to be Harmful: Study

Here's why women should avoid drinking during pregnancy

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Pregnancy
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can affect one's child's cognitive abilities later in life, including their education. Pixabay

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight and poor cognitive function, according to a new health news and research.

For the findings, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers from the University of Bristol investigated the impact alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have on a child.

The research team assessed 23 published studies on drinking during pregnancy and found evidence that consuming alcohol could lead to lower birth weight and poorer cognitive functioning.

“The body of evidence for the harm that alcohol can do to children before they are born is growing, and our review is the first to look at the full range of studies on the issue,” said study lead author Luisa Zuccolo from in the UK.

Pregnancy alcohol
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight and poor cognitive function. Pixabay

“Our work confirms the current scientific consensus: that consuming alcohol during pregnancy can affect one’s child’s cognitive abilities later in life, including their education. It might also lead to lower birth weight,” Zuccolo added.

To study the effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, the researchers funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) combined results from very different study designs for the first time.

Methods included traditional studies such as randomised controlled trials, alongside alternative strategies such as comparing children in the same families whose mothers cut down or increased their alcohol use between pregnancies, and a genetic marker-based approach, ‘Mendelian randomisation’.

Previously, research on this topic has been through ‘observational’ studies, where participants are already exposed to a risk factor and researchers do not try to change who is or isn’t exposed.

All the studies, included in the review, tried to compare with like groups of people, who were only different in terms of exposure to alcohol during pregnancy.

This is as close as it gets to what would be achieved in an experiment, the researchers said.

Also Read- Boys Have Slightly Better BMI Than Girls: Annual Health Survey

While the review was comprehensive it was limited in its ability to establish how much alcohol leads to these negative outcomes.

However, the researchers concluded that women should continue to be advised to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why Weight-Oriented Bullying Can Increase Alcohol Consumption Risk in Adolescents

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Alcohol
The study showed frequent weight-based teasing was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, binge drinking and marijuana use. Pixabay

Adolescents bullied about their weight or body shape are more likely to use alcohol or marijuana than others, according to a new study.

According to the study, published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, the link between appearance-related teasing and substance use was the strongest among overweight girls, raising special concerns about this group.

“This type of bullying is common and has many negative effects for adolescents. The combination of appearance-related teasing and the increased sensitivity to body image during adolescence may create a heightened risk for substance use,” said study lead author Melanie Klinck from University of Connecticut in the US.

The study, conducted at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, involved 1,344 students, aged 11-14 years, from five public middle schools near Hartford, Connecticut. They were asked if siblings, parents or peers teased them about their weight, body shape or eating during the past six months.

More than half (55 per cent) of the participants, which included three out of four overweight girls (76 per cent), 71 per cent of overweight boys, 52 per cent of girls and 43 per cent of boys who weren’t overweight, reported weight-based teasing.

The participants were also asked about their alcohol and marijuana use.

The study showed frequent weight-based teasing was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, binge drinking and marijuana use.

In a follow-up survey six months later, weight-based teasing was also found to be linked to alcohol use and binge drinking.

Man, Thick, Sad, Underwear, Overweight, Obese, Heh
Adolescents bullied about their weight or body shape are more likely to use alcohol or marijuana than others, according to a new study. Pixabay

Previous research had found boys had greater substance use possibility in their teens and early adulthood, but girls begin taking alcohol and drugs at an earlier age compared with boys.

According to the researchers, those trends may be related to the societal pressures for girls to adhere to unrealistic body image ideals. It can damage their sense of self-worth and contribute to eating disorders and self-medication through substance use to cope with teasing or fit in with peers.

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“These findings raise larger issues about how society places too much emphasis on beauty and body image for girls and women, and the damaging effects that may result,” said study researcher Christine McCauley Ohannessian. (IANS)