A baby’s first 1000 days ‘determines their health prospects for life’

Published: August 17, 2020

Fiona Macrae

Last updated at 7:58 AM on 17th August 2011

You have encouraged them to eat their greens, battled to get them into the best school and sweated with them over their homework – all to give them the best start in life.

But your children’s prospects may have been determined long before all the hard work.

A growing body of research suggests the first 1,000 days of a child’s life – the nine months in the womb and the first two years out of it – are vital to their long-term health.

A child’s health prospects have been determined by the time they have reached their second birthday

That period can permanently affect
everything from a child’s chances of developing diabetes or having a
heart attack in old age, to their future weight and life expectancy.

The theory was developed after decades of research by Professor David Barker and his colleagues at Southampton University.

They believe there are a series of
critical stages in a child’s development. If conditions are not perfect
at each step, problems can occur later.

Many of these danger points lie when
the baby is still in the womb. Poor nutrition for a mother affects both
the unborn baby’s weight and how well the placenta works, while smoking,
stress, drugs and alcohol can also take their toll.

Professor Barker believes many health problems can be traced back to poor growth in the womb.

He has shown that the lighter a baby
is at birth, the higher its odds of heart disease in later life. On
average, a baby weighing less than 5lb 7oz is twice as likely to die
from a heart attack than one born at 9lb 7oz.

It is thought that when food is scarce
in the womb, it is channelled to the fledgling brain, leaving the heart
weakened. The seeds of diabetes may also be sown before birth, as the
pancreatic cells which make insulin develop in the womb. Conditions in
the uterus can also affect weight for years to come, studies suggest.

Professor Barker said many of these
early effects are ‘set in stone’ and cannot be undone. He added that the
key to health is ensuring women eat well throughout their lives.

He said: ‘It is about building a body
that the baby can live off. The baby lives off the mother’s body – not
what she snacks on during pregnancy.

‘What we are seeing is a window of opportunity where we can make better people.’

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I believe there is something to the early life thing. I look around me at all the people who were kids during the was or born during the war, who are living healthy lives still, and yet I look at my own generation the baby boomers born after the war, who are dying off all over the place. Barely a day goes by without me hearing of a friend or someone I went school with or even younger relatives are dying. The only difference is that during the was there was the rationing and no one really got overweight and it seems they actually were eating what has turned out to be a healthy diet. My lot on the other were fed up on all sort of stuff, particularly after rationing ended in 1954 the year I was born.

Big women invariably have big babies and tiny women usually have small ones.
- kate, french west indies, 16/8/2020 22:12 - Kate, that’s not true. When I was pregnant my doctor worried as I was underweight and quizzed me and my partner about my eating habits, and even took him to one side and said make sure I eat. I went on to have a 9lb 7oz baby boy. My Dad was born into poverty in the 20s, he lived until a few months before his 80th birthday, and that was due to a fall, not illness. His sister is even older, pushing 90 now and still manages to get out and about! She was at a family wedding two weeks ago and a birthday party just two days ago. I doubt they had much nutrition during their younger years…and she gets out more than I do!

Which is why you’ve got to be mad to breed with a fat woman.

So it’s, Don’t Drink, Don’t smoke, it is srange that we now have the Longest Living amount of OAPs, all born during the period when nearly everyone smoked and enjoyed a drink, More “thoughts” from the so called researchers, just one point to make here, We Will All Die.

NO! YOU DON’T SAY! Infant development effects health? WOW! PROFOUND stuff. Nurture AND Nature? Next they will discover water is wet! Maybe our ‘genes’ DON’T determine whether we eat coconut ice cream after a curry after all? Isn’t science GRAND! Of course this would not be news in a time/place that did not worship materialism or bow before determinism. We know water is wet and kids need care.
Somewhere, Newton and Bacon are rolling in their graves.
God save science.

My disgustingly fit and healthy husband was born into grinding povery. I doubt very much if his lovely mother ever had any decent food when she was carrying him and, except for being breast fed, doubt if he had much of a decent diet himself at a young age. So where does that leave him? oh and his sisters.

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Published August 17, 2020 by in news

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