Pregnant Women’s Eating Habits May Affect Their Kids’ Weight

July 29, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. tend /tɛnd/ (v.) – to be likely to happen
Example: Kids tend to misbehave when their parents are away.

2.  fixated /ˈfɪk seɪtd/ (adj.) – having full attention or focus on something
Example: My mother is so fixated on losing weight that she talks about it every time.

3. mealtime /ˈmilˌtaɪm/ (n.) – the time during which a person usually eats
Example: I need to finish preparing the food before mealtime.

4. keep track /kip træk/ (idiom) – to regularly get information or updates on something
Example: My mother keeps track of my daily food expenses.

5. compile /kəmˈpaɪl/ (v.) – to join different documents or data together as a whole
Example: The scientists compiled all the results of their 10-year experiment.


Read the text below.
According to research, pregnant women who tend to eat while watching television might have overweight children.

Mary Jo Messito, the study’s lead author, said that a pregnant mother’s eating habits may still continue even after giving birth. Thus, if she eats while watching TV during pregnancy, she may also feed her child in front of the TV.

Messito’s team analyzed data from a childhood obesity prevention project called “Starting Early”. The researchers kept track of 189 women during their pregnancy and until their babies were three years old. Provided with educational references and informative videos, these women had individual nutritional counseling during pregnancy and after giving birth. 

During the women’s third trimester [trahy-MES-ter] of pregnancy, researchers asked them how often they eat while watching TV. When the babies were three months old, researchers asked the mothers how often their babies watched TV during mealtime.

After compiling the participants’ answers, researchers found that 71 percent of the mothers eat while watching TV during pregnancy. After giving birth, 33 percent of the mothers admitted that they fed their babies while in front of the TV.

According to previous studies, overexposure to television could be linked to obesity. In this study’s case, eating while in front of the television may cause obesity among children, as mothers tend to be fixated on the show and not notice when their kids are already full. Because of this, mothers give more food than what their children actually need.

To avoid obesity, Messito believes that TV exposure while eating should be limited during a child’s early years.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that watching TV while eating can lead to obesity? Why or why not?
·         What do you think can be the other disadvantages of eating while watching TV? Kindly explain.

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the other reasons why some children become overweight?
·         How can parents help prevent their children from becoming obese?

July 29, 2014