A well-balanced diet during pregnancy is crucial to the health of mothers and children. Less than adequate nutrition during pregnancy can lead to abnormalities of all kinds – including unhealthily low or high weight at birth – that put the lives of mothers and children at risk. Ill effects of inadequate nutrition during pregnancy can show up long after a child has grown up. The child or adult may suffer from abnormal mental growth, or be more prone to a number of illnesses. It has all been widely known. So the researchers at Nutrition Formulators went a step further – into an unexplored domain of knowledge – and asked if diet just before pregnancy can affect a child’s yet. The results were surprising.

Little research has been done into how diet pre-pregnancy diet habits affect a woman and her child’s health at birth. To fulfill this gap, researchers at Nutrition Formulators devised an experiment and looked into it.

The hypothesis was that preconception diet affects health. To confirm this, the researchers observed 399 women. They looked at their food intake during one year prior to their conceiving and continued to monitored them until the babies were delivered. The information they collected focused on:

. Length of pregnancy
. Maternal dietary patterns
. Birth weight
. Birth length
. Head circumference at the time of birth

Based on their diet, the women were divided into three groups:

. Group one: High meat, fish, and chicken diet
. Group two: High fat and sugar diet
. Group three: Primarily a vegetarian diet

The results were surprising. The women in group one were least likely to deliver babies prematurely. In stark contrast, women in group two, whose diet was rich in fats and sugar, were most likely to suffer from premature births. Continued research found the babies born to the women in group two were more likely to have shorter birth lengths.

Although the research is preliminary, the study’s results are eye-opening. They suggest that women should start taking care of their health – through diet – long before they plan to conceive.