Long-Term Effects of Maternal Nutrition and Childhood Growth on Later Health
Objectives: This paper reviews the importance of maternal nutrition and weight gain with birthweigh and neonatal/childhood growth, and highlights the r isk of chronic diseases in later life.
Methods: The data was sourced based on the result of original and review articles relating to the life exposures, pregnancy weight gain, birth weight, childhood growth and the risk of chronic diseases in adult life.
Findings: Experimental studies have suggested that both maternal undernutrition and overnutrition are involved in later disease risk. Maternal macronutrient deficiency leads to LBW and subsequently insulin resistance and adiposity in later life. It seems that micronutrient deficiencies contribute to long-term negative effects such as metabolic syndrome and related disorders. As well as fetal life, early infancy, the adiposity rebound period and puberty also account as critical periods for the development of obesity in adulthood.
Conclusion: It is now widely accepted that the risks of adult chronic diseases may have their developmental origins in fetal life. Maternal under-nutrition or over-nutrition affect the infant’s health . Both macro- and micro-nutrients are critical for appropriate pregnancy outcomes. Understanding their precise patho-physiological mechanism are critical to apply new strategies to prevent the adverse effects of maternal dietary restriction and environmental factors in early stages of life.