Heavy alcohol exposure to a fetus affects the growth and body composition of the child for years, according to a study of pregnant women from an antenatal clinic serving an economically disadvantaged community in Cape Town, South Africa (Carter RC et al. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2012;36:1973-1982).
Between July 1999 and January 2002, the researchers recruited 2 groups from the clinic: 1 group of 85 women drank heavily (2 or more drinks per day or 4 or more drinks per occasion); another group of 63 women either abstained or drank lightly (less than 1 drink per day and no binge drinking).
Friedrich MJ. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. JAMA. 2013;309(7):649. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1021