That nutrition influences our health is not news. But that this also has an effect on our children and grandchildren, we are less aware of this. Tessa Roseboom, epidemiologist and biologist, researched this. What can we still learn from the Hunger Winter?
Who thinks that your later health is only determined by the genes that you get from parents or your lifestyle, which is next to it. “The environment in which you go through the first phase of growth and development, the uterus, is very important. The way in which your organs were built then, you then no longer change, and the building blocks that were supplied to you from your mother’s diet determine for an important part how healthy you later become old “, told epidemiologist and biologist Tessa Roseboom in gezondNU. In 2013 she did research into the health of people born in the Hunger Winter.
What is the effect of the Hunger Winter?
Children born in the Hunger Winter are generally thicker and more likely to have cardiovascular disease and strokes, Roseboom discovered. “Usually in the uterus the diet is a prediction for what follows later. If you get little food from your mother, it is likely that it will be later and then it is a very smart adjustment. However, if it turns out to be better in the end, it seems that it can turn against you. Hunger winter children have an innate preference for fat eating and also an economical metabolism. This can still be measured sixty years later. If you let them fill in very extensive dietary lists, then they indeed eat more fat. “
Healthy eating for your offspring
The outcome of the research also affects the pregnant women of today. For example, Japanese women often try to arrive very little during pregnancy. In Japan they see that the average birth weight goes down, so they worry about that. Roseboom: “I understand that women do not like to get fat during pregnancy, but that is just that and that is about. It is extremely important that you are healthy and eat healthy during this period, because it not only affects you, but also your child and even your grandchildren. “