Good maternal nutrition: the best start in life

New report calls for improved maternal nutrition to decrease children’s long-term risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and obesity. The nutritional well-being of pregnant women affects not only their health and their fetuses' development but also children's long-term risk of developing NCDs or obesity, according to a new report from WHO/Europe, "Good maternal nutrition. The best start in life". While the importance of good nutrition in the early development of children has been recognized for decades, the report offers a systematized review of the most recent evidence on maternal nutrition and obesity and NCD prevention. The findings confirm that a mother's nutritional status – including overweight and obesity, excessive gestational weight gain and gestational diabetes – affects not only her child's health as an infant but also the child's risk of obesity and related chronic diseases as an adult. In short, maternal nutrition can truly have an intergenerational impact.

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