Chronic diseases in children starts manifesting in the womb – Nutritionist

A Clinical Nutrition Consultant, Mrs. Shereee Ijewere has urged Nigerians, especially pregnant women to prioritise eating meals that include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water to prevent their children from developing chronic diseases.

She advised expectant mothers to eat a balanced diet to lower their risk of birthing children with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, among others.

She said this on Thursday, at the 5th Annual International Conference of the Nigerian Association of Foreign Trained Pharmacists, held in Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State.

Ijewere, who is also the founder of Carib Health Limited, explained that certain chronic diseases in children can start developing in the womb, before birth.

She noted that early life events, including exposure to toxins and lack of appropriate nutrition, can have a lasting impact on the health of a child later on in life.

The nutritionist lamented that many Nigerians are suffering from nutritional deficiency, stressing that malnutrition before conception, can have a significant impact on the health of a child.

While describing it as a transgenerational transmission of malnutrition, the expert explained that the health of a child can be affected by the health of the mother and grandmother.

She said, “If a woman is malnourished during her childhood or adolescence, she is more likely to give birth to a low birth weight baby. This is because malnutrition can lead to changes in the mother’s body, such as impaired ovarian function and uterine abnormalities.

“When a pregnant woman is under stress, it affects the baby’s organ, brain, kidney, and blood vessels.  The food we eat impacts our genes either positively or negatively, which can change the health outcome of generations to come.

“If you are not mindful of the root of wellness, they can lead to the root of sickness. The risk of chronic diseases metamorphosis before birth.

“The transgenerational and socioeconomic implications of fetal origin of diseases have far-reaching repercussions that cannot be underestimated. There must be continuous education, lifestyle education and practising good habit-forming routines for longevity and wellness.”

Earlier in his remarks, the President of NAFTraph, Dr. John Ejezie said the association partners with other healthcare professionals, agencies, and stakeholders in providing safe, efficacious and cost-effective drug therapy to the larger society to enhance general health outcomes.

He revealed that the association had increased student membership by more than 700 per cent in the previous year.

He added, “It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you the NAFTraPh Foundation. We have taken our commitment to community service to the next level. Please, stay tuned as we unpack what we have loaded for the Foundation.

“It is also with great honour that we introduce to you our prestigious NAFTraPh Fellowship (FNAFTraPh). The reward for good work is more work, they say. The details of the fellowship and the accompanying by-law document will follow.

“We take professional development very seriously in NAFTraPh. Besides, with our Clinical Care Corner, via which the Education Committee presents Continuing Education twice a week, we now have NAFTraPhCares!

“With NAFTraPhCares, there are more variety of events. These presentations and visuals are tailored to world event days, prevalent social atmosphere, popular choices, and CE needs.

“We continue to promote professional growth and development, and a sense of community service and responsibility. Social determinants of health will continue to shape morbidity, mortality, and overall.”


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