We all know that drinking during pregnancy is harmful, and even potentially deadly for the fetus, but a recent study has found that heavy drinking even before conception could impact the health of future children. The study, which was conducted by the National Institutes of Health, claims that women who have a history of binge drinking are putting their future children at risk of having high blood sugar and developing diabetes.
While there is a misconception that heavy drinking means drinking until you black out, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as having four or more drinks in a timespan of two hours. And according to an article published by the American Journal of Public Health, almost 20 percent of adults are considered binge drinkers. When it came to women of childbearing age, a national survey found that 18 percent were considered binge drinkers. This means that roughly one in five childbearing aged women could unknowingly be putting their future children at risk.
While this recent study limited the dangers of binge drinking prior to conception to health issues, a previous study conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health linked heavy drinking to behavioral problems. The study, which involved over 90,000 women over a period of three years, found that children of mothers who drank heavily prior to getting pregnant were more likely to experience acts of defiance, aggression, violent behavior, anxiety, and depression.
Despite warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 to 15 percent of women admit to drinking at least a little alcohol during their pregnancy. While some women believe that it is okay to have the occasional glass of wine, a study by Binghamton University has found that even just four glasses of wine during the entire pregnancy increases the risk of alcoholism in the future three generations.
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