Early healthy nutrition vital for later life

February 8, 2013

What a mother eats before and during pregnancy can impact on her offspring in many ways, a University of Aberdeen researcher will tell a conference in Edinburgh today (February 7).

Early diet - even before a child is conceived - may have a role later in life in obesity, heart disease, mental health, and economic status, Professor Paul Haggarty will say at the Improving Maternal and Infant Nutrition in Scotland: Unlocking Our Potential conference organised by NHS Health Scotland.

The Life-Long Health Theme Leader at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health will discuss how the main nutritional problems in are strongly related to deprivation status.

Breaking that deprivation cycle is one of Scotland's big challenges, says Professor Haggarty who believes improving young women's nutrition, particularly those who are deprived, may be one of best ways of tackling it.

"It is now accepted that giving every child the best start in life is crucial to reducing across the life course," said Professor Haggarty.

"However the problem of deprivation is bigger in Scotland than in England. More deprivation, and even the same level of deprivation, seems to have a bigger impact on Scotland's .

"A healthy pregnancy may depend as much on pre-pregnancy diet and related body composition as it does on nutrients consumed during the pregnancy. So the best strategy is to improve nutritional in younger women generally, with a focus on the most deprived groups.

"One of the key challenges facing Scotland is to break the vicious cycle of deprivation which persists throughout life and across the generations.

"Recent research suggests that improvements in the early nutritional, emotional and physical environment could have benefits on and behaviour in later life, in ways that may help to break these vicious cycles.

"A healthy pregnancy may depend as much on pre-pregnancy diet and related as it does on nutrients consumed during the pregnancy. So the best strategy is to improve nutritional in younger women generally, with a focus on the most deprived groups."

Today's event brings together practitioners from the NHS, local authorities and third sector who will be working together to implement the actions set out in the Improving Maternal and Infant Nutrition Framework launched by the Scottish Government in January 2011.

Explore further: Safe sun advice may help to raise vitamin D in Scottish mums-to-be

Related Stories

Safe sun advice may help to raise vitamin D in Scottish mums-to-be

August 17, 2012
Too many women in Scotland are failing to follow current advice on vitamin D supplement use in pregnancy. This is leading to very low levels in some mothers and newborns, particularly in the winter months, and the problem ...

Secrets in small blood vessels could reveal the risks of heart disease and diabetes

September 24, 2012
Researchers at the University of Southampton together with colleagues at King's College London have embarked on a unique study that will shed new light on the risk of heart disease and diabetes in later life.

Research gives insights into abortion

September 5, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Women whose first pregnancy ends in abortion are more at risk of having a premature baby in a second pregnancy than women in their first pregnancy. However, the risk is not as high as that of women who ...

Simple measures may curb excessive weight gain in pregnancy

July 20, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Healthy eating and low or moderate levels of exercise during pregnancy can help a woman avoid excessive weight gain and may reduce her infant's risk of being overweight or obese later in life, new research ...

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.