Parents cost their kids years of life
BABIES born today could have a shorter lifespan than their parents and suffer more disease, all because of what goes on in the first 1000 days of their life.
Scientists will this week launch new dietary recommendations to try to prevent the problem.
They say the poor lifestyle and eating habits of parents are to blame for ill health in children and the damage starts even before women conceive a baby. Two thirds of parents are overweight and new evidence shows it’s harming not just their own health but affects their children’s genes and causes disease in them as well.
The children of overweight parents are at higher risk of obesity, type-2 diabetes, kidney disease and cancer.
Some scientists say this means they could live five years less than their parents, others say they might live longer but they will be sicker.
Research from Sydney University this week showed how the parental diet of animals from caterpillars to monkeys affected their offspring’s immunity.
Bad parental diets led to higher markers of inflammation linked to dementia and cancer in their children.
The Early Life Nutrition Coalition, a group of 15 early life nutrition academic and health groups, will this week release new diet recommendations and guidelines that aim to prevent allergies and the diseases that can be influenced by parents’ poor diets.
The catch is, they require mums and dads to change their lifestyle a year before they plan to get pregnant.
New rules are needed be- cause more than one million people have type-2 diabetes, one-in-nine children have asthma, one in 10 kids have a food allergy and anaphylaxis has increased fivefold in children four years old and under.
“For many of these diseases, it’s not genes, but environmental factors and nutritional intake in the earliest stages of life that are most influential,” said Early Life Nutrition Coalition chairman Professor Peter Davies, director of the Children’s Nutrition Research Centre, University of Queensland.
“We know that during pregnancy and throughout infancy, there are critical times when a foetus and baby are particularly susceptible to the influence of nutrition — both good and poor nutritional intake.”
The problem starts with the fact many mums are overweight before they get pregnant.