Experts have stressed the importance of taking care of your preconception health as it can have a massive impact on your child’s health in the future.
They have advised people to avoid smoking and drinking if they are trying for a child or planning on expanding their family in the future. They stressed the importance of exercising regularly and eating well.
The new study claims that your alcohol intake, diet and weight at the pre-conception phase can have a major impact on your child at a later point in their life.
Lead author of the study, Professor Judith Stephenson shared, “The preconception period is a critical time when parental health - including weight, metabolism, and diet - can influence the risk of future chronic disease in children, and we must now re-examine public health policy to help reduce this risk.”
The team analysed the nutrition of over 500 women, who were aged between 18 and 42.
Their findings showed that 96 percent of the participants had poor iron and folate dietary intakes which are not beneficial when trying for a child.
He added that although many people are aware of the negative impacts of smoking and drinking excessively during the pre-conception period, they are in the dark about nutrition and exercise and their impact on your child.
He stated that raising awareness about pre-conception health is crucial, and suggested that people should be encouraged to improve their health prior to conception. The team also shared that youths should be taught about taking care of their health before conception in schools as part of sex-education lessons.
The study was published in The Lancet journal.