Pre-Natal Nutrition Essential to Preventing Future Disease in Offspring

Women consuming unhealthy diets during pregnancy put their child at risk for numerous future health problems, suggests a recent study. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), obesity, and stunted growth, were seen to be the most prevalent complications developed in animal models, where the mother’s had poor nutrition.

The study was conducted on two groups of mice, where the pregnant females were fed either diets of poor nutrition, or balanced and healthy diets. The fetuses of the pregnant poor nutrition mice were observed to develop numerous dangerous health conditions, once they reached adulthood, at much higher incidence, than the children of pregnant mice that received proper nutrition.

Says senior researcher Dr. Robert Lane, “Our study emphasizes that maternal–fetal health influences multiple healthcare issues across generations. To reduce adult diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, we need to understand how the maternal–fetal environment influences the health of offspring.”

Since unhealthy eating habits are sadly the norm for many individuals, it’s essential that awareness become more prevalent as to the importance of pre-natal care. Diabetes, CVD and obesity, are all known to be largely preventable, but poor nutrition during pregnancy makes this prevention all the more difficult for the offspring.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Lane, Robert. Mooneyhan, Cody. The FASEB Journal news release. April 2009.

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