A study conducted at the University of Turku reveals that expectant mothers may not be consuming an optimal diet, according to the research of Dr. Ella Koivuniemi. An unhealthy diet during pregnancy can increase the fetus’s risk of developing diseases later in life, such as cardiovascular problems. Koivuniemi recommends pregnant women consume at least five servings of plant-based foods a day, but only half of the women in the study met this recommendation. Additionally, a third of women did not eat vegetables daily.

It is crucial for mothers-to-be to get enough nutrients to support the growth and development of the fetus and maternal tissues and placenta. Vegetables, fruits, and berries are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and folic acid, which is necessary to prevent birth defects. Although taking a folic acid supplement is recommended, Koivuniemi emphasizes the importance of getting the nutrient from food. Severe folic acid deficiency in the fetus can lead to neural tube defects, which are rare in Finland but carry significant risks.

A fetus can adapt to its environment during pregnancy through fetal programming, which can affect the child’s later life. Maternal obesity and poor nutrition can affect fetal metabolism, increasing the child’s risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Epigenetics plays a role in this phenomenon, with evidence suggesting that fetal metabolism can be adapted to efficiently store fat in times of need, leading to future health challenges. Research on epigenetics in humans is ongoing and complex, with evidence from intergenerational population studies supporting its role in human health.

Koivuniemi’s research also examined the eating habits of children under school age. The study showed that most children did not consume enough vegetables and fruits and only one percent met the recommended five servings per day. The quality of their diet was also assessed, with only 14 percent having a good diet while most had a moderate to poor diet. Challenges implementing nutritional recommendations for both expectant mothers and young children may be due to factors such as busy lifestyles, fatigue

By Samantha Johnson

As a dedicated content writer at newspuk.com, I immerse myself in the art of storytelling through words. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting engaging narratives, I strive to captivate our audience with each piece I create. Whether I'm covering breaking news, delving into feature articles, or exploring thought-provoking editorials, my goal remains constant: to inform, entertain, and inspire through the power of writing. Join me on this journalistic journey as we navigate through the ever-evolving media landscape together.

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