Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hungry Mothers Risk Addiction In Their Adult Children

Date:
January 28, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Babies conceived during a period of famine are at risk of developing addictions later in life, according to new research. Researchers studied men and women born in Rotterdam during the Dutch "hunger winter." Those whose mothers had suffered severe food shortages and starvation during their early pregnancy were significantly more likely to be receiving treatment for addictive disorders.

Babies conceived during a period of famine are at risk of developing addictions later in life, according to new research published in the international journal Addiction. Researchers from the Dutch mental health care organisation, Bouman GGZ, and Erasmus University Rotterdam studied men and women born in Rotterdam between 1944 and 1947, the time of the Dutch 'hunger winter'. Those whose mothers had suffered severe food shortages and starvation during their early pregnancy were significantly more likely to be receiving treatment for addictive disorders.

Related Articles


The 'hunger winter' which lasted from mid-October 1944 until 12 May 1945 has been credited with a range of chronic disorders among adults in later life. These include physical conditions such as coronary heart disease, and psychiatric ones such as schizophrenia and clinical depression. It came about when the German authorities imposed a total embargo on occupied Netherlands in retaliation for Dutch support for the Allied forces after the failed parachute attack at Arnhem in September 1944.

Food rations declined to extremely low levels between February and May 1945 resulting in a starvation peak when the average daily food consumption dropped to below 1000 calories. The normal daily intake is 2300 calories for women and 2900 for men. Pregnant and nursing mothers were at first entitled to supplementary rations but at the peak of the emergency the extra rations could no longer be sustained. 22000 people in the western Netherlands died because of the famine.

Modern brain research has shown that if the brain is not able to develop at normal rates while the child is in the womb neuro-developmental abnormalities can occur which give rise to susceptibility to addiction. Ernst Franzek, the lead author of the study, observes "exposure to famine beyond the first three months did not result in a higher risk of addiction, which supports the view that the first trimester is crucial in the development of the reward system in the human brain that is involved in addictive behaviour". He further comments that the research findings "point up the adverse influence of maternal malnutrition on the mental health of the adult offspring, and give rise to great concern about the possible future consequences for the hunger regions in our world".

Journal reference: Ernst J. Franzek, Niels Sprangers, A. Cecile J. W. Janssens, Cornelia M. Van Duijn, Ben J. M. Van De Wetering (2008). Prenatal exposure to the 1944-45 Dutch 'hunger winter' and addiction later in life. Addiction OnlineEarly articles: doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02084.x


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Hungry Mothers Risk Addiction In Their Adult Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080125120152.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, January 28). Hungry Mothers Risk Addiction In Their Adult Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080125120152.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Hungry Mothers Risk Addiction In Their Adult Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080125120152.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins