An expectant mother’s unhealthy diet can increase the risk of disease for the fetus

Unhealthy Diets During Pregnancy Increase Fetus’s Risk of Disease Later in Life, Study Finds

Expectant mothers may not be consuming enough nutrients to support the growth and development of their fetus and their own tissues and placenta, according to a new study conducted at the University of Turku. The study, led by specialist researcher Ella Koivuniemi, found that unhealthy diets during pregnancy can increase the fetus’s susceptibility to diseases like cardiovascular issues later in life.

Koivuniemi recommends pregnant women consume at least five servings of plant-based foods daily, but only half of the women in the study met this recommendation. Additionally, a third of the women did not eat vegetables daily. The fetus can adapt to its environment during pregnancy through fetal programming, which can impact the child’s later life. The mother’s obesity and poor diet can affect the fetus’s metabolism, increasing the child’s risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Epigenetics plays a role in this phenomenon, with evidence suggesting that the fetus’s metabolism may adapt to store fat efficiently during times of need, leading to future health challenges. Research on epigenetics in humans is ongoing and complex, with evidence from cross-generational population studies supporting its role in human health.

Furthermore, Koivuniemi also examined the eating habits of children under school age as part of her research. The study found that most children did not consume enough vegetables and fruits, with only one percent meeting the recommended five servings per day. Quality of diet in children was also assessed, with just 14 percent eating well while the majority had moderate to poor diets.

The challenges in implementing nutritional recommendations for both expectant mothers and young children may be due to factors like busy lifestyles, fatigue, and lack of support. However

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