We all know that we are what we eat, but a confronting new advertising campaign is drumming home the message that our children are what we eat too. The print campaign shows breastfeeding mothers with burgers, donuts and soft drinks painted on their chests, their babies seemingly consuming the junk.
The ads, created for Brazilian paediatric organisation SPRS, have the slogan ‘your child is what you eat’ and are a startling reminder that mothers can potentially harm their babies with their own poor diets.
The mission of SPRS is to promote high standards of health care for infants, children and young adults. The organisation says habits in the first 1000 days of gestation can prevent a child from developing serious diseases. Its website says that while “love and affection are vital”, it’s important to educate and inform mothers about the procedures necessary for proper nutrition and baby care.
In a recent study published in the journal Genome Biology, researchers found a mother’s diet, nutrition and environmental exposures can impact a developing fetus. Robert Waterland, an Associate Professor of paediatrics and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, found that healthy diets of pregnant mothers can result in babies developing a gene variant that suppresses tumours, the Daily Mail reports.
But the Australian Breastfeeding Association says that in general, your diet is important for your own health and energy levels, rather than affecting your breastmilk and your baby. The association says that even in countries where food is scarce, mothers are able to breastfeed and their babies thrive: “However, there are a few nutrients a baby needs that may be affected if the mother’s intake is too low, such as iodine and vitamin B12.”
(via the Daily Mail)