I don’t know what to make of this article in The Independent, titled People born in spring are ‘more likely’ to become anorexic. according to the article, studies have found that ” schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and suicide are all more common among people who were born during springtime” and adds that “Environmental factors around the time of conception and during the first three months of pregnancy are considered the likely cause, but it is not known which ones are responsible.”
The figures state that babies born in the spring months are 15% more likely to develop anorexia and those born between September and October are 20% less likely to develop the eating disorder. Scientists are suggesting that pre-natal diets could be a cause, especially during the last trimester and they are also looking into the levels of Vitamin D in baby’s bodies, which are at their lowest in the spring months- the last trimester.
This report comes after this one from the BBC, entitled Mother’s Diet during pregnancy alters DNA, which I read with great interest. Eagle-eyed readers of my blog may have noticed one or two posts about dieting and so on. Eating issues run deep with people close to me and I myself have a shady relationship with food at times. When I read the BBC article I have to admit that my heart sunk a little.
The baby didn’t appear as soon as we decided we were ready to have him; in the end my mum told me I needed to start eating properly and bingo! I fell pregnant after five months, one month after I re-introduced carbs into my diet. It may have been coincidence, I’m not sure. The thing is, I know that cutting out a whole food group from my diet isn’t healthy and throughout my entire pregnancy, I ate normally and healthily. The other thing is that a low carb diet appeals to me in more ways than one- I’m not the biggest carbs fan in the first place and also know that cutting down on them can shift the pounds. The good angel on my shoulder however, reminds me that dieting is a fool’s game and so most of the time I manage to get by like a normal person.
So is there a link to all of this? Well, I’m not sure. I think we all know that whatever you eat whilst pregnant affects your baby, but can we ever really know exactly how and to what extent? How do I know whether my mum ate carbs or had enough Vitamin D whist she was carrying me? How do I know that my eating habits now don’t affect my children? My six year old has already told me she’s fat and I swear that I have never ever spoken about my body complexes in her ear-shot. I have my reasons.
So is is genetics, DNA, environment or just the way things are? Do we blame media, celebrities, puberty or the massive changes that women go through whilst pregnant? Is it the headlines that scream so and so is back in their jeans two weeks after birth of sextuplets or is it our own everyday inner demons? What is it that makes us so paranoid, self-loathing, self-critical and envious?
Where will it end? Every time an article is published I feel more and more confused. I’m sensible enough to know that these studies don’t tell us the whole picture but I do find it interesting. It seems silly to say that a person born in May is more likely to be anorexic but it also seems silly to disregard the evidence. So what do you think? Are eating disorders, to some extent, down to pure luck of the draw?
Image sources: strita-thepatronessofhopelesscases.blogspot.com; bbc.co.uk