DOI: 10.12923/2083-4829/2023-0008 ISSN: 2083-4829

A mother’s diet as a predictor of her child’s current and future health

Dorota Łoboda
  • General Medicine

The body’s ‘nutritional programming’ scheme assumes that the influence of environmental factors during the so-called “critical periods’” of human development associated with, among other things, excessive or deficient nutrients can lead to permanent metabolic changes. The negative impact of external factors, poor nutrition, different gene expression during the fetal period with accompanying fetal growth retardation can permanently “reprogram” the metabolism and the course of many physiological processes, causing metabolic complications in adulthood. More and more researchers and theoreticians are considering and verifying the relationship between the early influence of environmental factors and the occurrence of civilisation diseases in the context of nutritional programming. Recently, many researchers have pointed out that the infant years are a critical time for metabolic programming. The impact of a pregnant woman’s nutrition on the development of obesity, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome in her child’s later life has been empirically proven. Similar results have been reported for the importance of breastfeeding and also of nutritional deficiencies or excesses in the first 1000 days of the child. This period is particularly susceptible to all the factors that affect the body and builds the foundations of the child’s broader health at present and in the future. The aim of this study is to show, on the basis of an analysis of research reports, that both woman’s nutrition during the pre-conceptional period and during pregnancy, as well as her child’s nutrition after birth, are of crucial importance for the child’s development and somatic health. Keywords: child health, feeding, metabolic programming, nutrition, pregnancy.

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