Mother's Diet Linked to the Health of Children

Article

A new study "emphasizes the links between poor diet in mothers and ill health in their children, and calls for women of childbearing age to be made more aware of the importance of good nutrition."

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Southampton, UK, “emphasizes the links between poor diet in mothers and ill health in their children, and calls for women of childbearing age to be made more aware of the importance of good nutrition.” The study, “Early Nutrition and Lifelong Health,” will be published in the journal British Medical Association Board of Science and investigates “the evidence that the diets of women of reproductive age, and those of their fetuses and young children, are significant factors in influencing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, brittle bone disease and even some forms of cancer and mental illness, later in those children’s lives.”

Authors of the study are calling for mothers to be more aware of unbalanced nutrition; they claim that women in the UK have diets low in certain nutrients, even with access to plentiful food.

The lead author, Professor Mark Hanson, director of the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease at the University of Southampton, said that “The nutritional transitions occurring in many developing societies will have major effects on diets between generations, and this will increase the risk of chronic disease dramatically.”

In addition, the researchers also stressed the importance of prospective fathers eating healthy and ensuring that “young people understand the importance of good nutrition as part of their lifestyle choices.”

To read more about the report, visit www.bma.org.uk/health_promotion_ethics/child_health.

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