Nutrition habits in pregnant women and early childhood as a tool for obesity prevention

For the first time ever, the number of overweight people in the world is the same as the number who are underfed – about one billion. In the US they are calling obesity an epidemic, not only among adults but also among children and teenagers. Obesity in childhood has increased alarmingly not only in the US but also in most western countries. The rise in childhood obesity may be due in part to non-adequate feeding habits accepted from the very beginning, because the nutritional needs of children are specific and should be followed. The causation of obesity is thought to be a combination of genetics, lifestyle and diet. A sedentary lifestyle and consistently eating too much are often the main culprits, but a hereditary component cannot be ruled out in many cases. Obesity increases the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, arthritis, type II diabetes, some cancers (colon, prostate, breast), gastrointestinal disease and skin diseases. Weight loss can be achieved in motivated people by changing behaviour and diet. Everybody should be aware that the eating behaviour and lifestyle that were present for generations in one particular area could help in developing healthier and acceptable habits that will secure longevity and good mental physical health.
Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 48, No 1, january - march 2004
Authors: D. Verbanac
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