Fresh news from the BiSC Nutrition Group


In September we welcomed the new nutrition research group at BiSC, and they already have fresh news to share with you all!

The mother’s diet during pregnancy can be a critical factor in shaping the health of the offspring. For this reason, during the last months BiSC nutrition researchers have focused on characterizing the consumption of ultra-processed foods and drinks in BiSC mothers during pregnancy, and on seeing whether this consumption is related to the data from cognitive development that were collected from your children at 8 and 18 months.

The consumption of ultra-processed foods and drinks has become a widespread phenomenon around the world. But what are they? These are food products that have been subjected to various stages of industrial processing, which generally involve the use of additives, preservatives and other ingredients not common in home cooking. They stand out for their ease of consumption and constant presence in our everyday environment. Some examples are pre-cooked foods, industrial sausages, fast foods, soft drinks, individually wrapped snacks and industrial pastry products. In pregnant women throughout the Western world, the consumption of these products is approximately 20-30% of their total intake.

The first finding indicates that the consumption of ultra-processed products in BiSC mothers is only 12.4% of their total intake. The ultra-processed foods that BiSC mothers consumed the most were pre-cooked meals (37%) and soft drinks (31%). Although consumption in BiSC mothers is lower than reported by pregnant mothers in other studies, we found that eating more ultra-processed foods during pregnancy is associated with lower language and verbal abilities later at 18 months of age . These results support those reported by a previous study and lead us to wonder if this consumption during pregnancy could explain differences in neonatal brain development.

It seems that the BiSC nutrition group already has a new goal 😉


This news has been written by Camille Lassale, Jordi Júlvez and Oren Contreras, researchers of the BiSC project.