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Doc: Big babies do not mean good health

TRE GREAVES, [email protected]

Doc: Big babies do not mean good health

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Giving birth to a big baby does not mean the child is healthy.

Non-communicable disease advisor at the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Dr Patrice Lawrence-Williams, said that in the past a larger child was a model of good health, but with the prevalence of obesity, she now questioned the validity of the conclusion.

“Historically, a heavy child meant a healthy child and the concept ‘bigger is better’ was widely accepted, especially when there was relatively high- prevalence malnutrition . . . but now one third of children are obese,” she said at the Hilton Barbados Resort during the second session of the Caribbean Institute of Nutrition & Dietetics’ (CIND) Caribbean Nutrition Conference.

In her presentation The Economic Landscape Of Oncology: What Can Nutrition Do About It? she listed poor nutrition as a foundation for developing cancer and challenged mothers to pay closer attention.

The PAHO advisor said if not curbed from young, high caloric diets, inclusive of sugar-sweetened drinks and foods high in salt, coupled with a lack of physical activity gave rise to obesity.

“New studies are revealing that high fats, sugary food choices during pregnancy, even if mothers consume a healthy diet, may affect the metabolic health of future generations. If there is any time that your diet is important, it is the period during pregnancy. The prevention of cancer should therefore commence before conception. Mothers should begin their pregnancy with a healthy weight,” Lawrence-Williams added. (TG)