Call us free on 0800 862 0373

Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

The hidden chemical in food causing underweight babies

Published on 23/10/2012

We all know that smoking during pregnancy can lead to an underweight baby, but were you aware that eating large quantities of chips and crisps could have a comparable effect on your baby's size?

Acrylamide has been found in foods such as chips

A new study has shown that mothers-to-be who have a high intake of acrylamide are more likely to have a baby with a lower than average birth weight and a smaller head circumference.

Acrylamide is a chemical which is produced naturally as a result of cooking starch-rich food at high temperatures, such as baking or frying. It has been found in a wide range of foods including crisps, chips, bread and coffee.

Researchers examined the diets of 1,100 pregnant women between 2006 and 2010 in Denmark, England, Greece, Norway and Spain by using food-frequency questionnaires, as well as examining each baby’s cord blood for information about acrylamide exposure during pregnancy.

They found that babies born to mothers with a high dietary intake of acrylamide were found to be up to 132 grams lighter than babies born to mothers who had a low intake. Low birth weights have been associated with adverse health effects in later life.

The effects are comparable to lower birth weights caused by maternal smoking.

In addition, the infant’s heads were also up to 0.33 centimetres smaller. The size of a child’s head has been associated with delayed neurodevelopment.

The study was led by the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, and involved 20 research centres across Europe. The authors of the study wrote: “The potential public-health implications of our findings are substantial”.

"Reduced birth weight is a risk factor for numerous adverse health effects early in life, and has been associated with multiple adverse outcomes later in life such as reduced stature, increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and osteoporosis."

Dr Laura Hardie, reader in molecular epidemiology at the University of Leeds, said: "186 women from the Born in Bradford study took part in this major European research programme. We found that their babies had the highest levels of acrylamide out of all of the five centres, almost twice the level of the Danish babies.

"When we investigated their diet it was clear that the largest source of dietary acrylamide is from chips."

Studies in rodent models have found that acrylamide exposure also increases the risk of developing several types of cancer. However, the evidence from human studies is still incomplete.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
The hidden chemical in food causing underweight babiesWe all know that smoking during pregnancy can lead to an underweight baby, but were you aware that eating large quantities of chips and cris    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

I found the quality of service to be very helpful, and pretty much above my expectation. I'd recommend anyone to use ActiveQuote.

Review centre member

Very helpful and polite and always try their best to obtain the best quotes. Have been using them for the last 3 years and will continue to use them in the future.

Review centre member

A great service from the initial call, to finalising the agreement. I would highly recommend to my family and friends.

Review centre member

Proactive, efficient, and offered me insurance I need. I would say half price I would end up paying if I did it by myself. Many thanks.

Review centre member

Excellent service. Explained everything in detail and really helped to find the right insurance best suited to my needs - which wasn't necessarily the most expensive. 

Review centre member

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...