Nutrition of young women and its effect on offspring is an almost neglected topic in developed and developing countries alike. Under- as well as overnutrition of the mother can negatively program the child's health: Maternal undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are related to both low birth weight and intrauterine growth retardation. Moreover, they also result in negative epigenetic programming both during conception and in the newborn. Obese mothers, on the other hand, may produce offspring with a lower life expectancy, a fact which could be related to the higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome in adult life.
This book provides insights into the influence of maternal health and nutrition on both fetal and postnatal growth and health of the offspring. Contributions focus on future mothers from their adolescence to pregnancy, thus providing valuable information for the clinician involved in the care of adolescents and young women.