Metabolic programming: improper nutrition can harm unborn babies
Expectant mothers should pay special attention to what is on the menu during pregnancy. With their diet they can significantly influence the health of their offspring. If pregnant women are too fat, this can have long-term consequences for the children.
Negative influences extend into adulthood
Various scientific studies have shown that the lifestyle of the parents has a significant impact on the health of their offspring. For example, scientists at the Ulm University Clinic found that the weight of the mother shapes the fetus. Children of overweight mothers often have a higher blood sugar level even at school. Jan Däbritz, nutrition specialist and deputy head of the Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic of the Rostock University Medical Center, also knows that women can significantly influence the health of their children with their diet during pregnancy and lactation. As the expert explained in a message from the dpa news agency, this applies not only to the health of young people in the period of growth. Rather, negative influences could extend far into later adulthood.
Obese mothers have obese children
"It is the duty of the pregnant woman: Studies show that there is something in the assessment that overweight mothers also have overweight children," says Däbritz. As a result, vascular diseases such as high blood pressure or infarction and diabetes can occur in later adulthood. The background is the so-called metabolic programming, which states that food ingredients can lead to genetic changes. Although these are not passed on, they can influence the reading of genes. According to the nutritionist, this in turn has an impact on the production of proteins or enzymes. Dabritz emphasized that not a single food can be described as "bad". According to his statement, it is rather about the generally unhealthy eating behavior and the much too high energy supply that is ingested with food.
"Health policy problem with a considerable extent"
According to the agency report, this assessment is also shared by the German Nutrition Society (DGE). Accordingly, excessive obesity during pregnancy also increases the risk of complications at birth for mother and child. "Against the background that every third to fourth woman in Germany of childbearing age is overweight, it is potentially a health policy problem with a considerable extent," said DGE spokeswoman Antje Gahl.
Pregnant women do not have to eat for two
“Overweight and excessive weight gain during pregnancy should therefore be avoided in the interests of mother and child health. Pregnant women do not have to "eat for two", according to an older DGE announcement. Christian Albring, President of the Professional Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recently said that expectant mothers who are as hungry as two do not have to eat double portions. You don't need that much more energy during pregnancy.
Importance of nutrition for expectant mothers
As Gahl explained, prevention begins in the womb. According to Däbritz, it is the duty of gynecologists to advise pregnant women of the importance of nutrition. To prevent impairment of the brain development of the unborn child, fish, for example, should be on the menu with its important fatty acids. But only if the fish is really well cooked. According to recent studies, there should be no more than three times a week fish for pregnant women. Greek researchers from the "University of Crete" reported in the journal "JAMA Pediatrics" that consuming too much fish causes children to be more likely to become overweight or develop obesity. (ad)