Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

It has been proposed that fetal nutrition is an important determinant of adult health and of inequalities in health between different social groups. Evidence for the 'fetal origins' hypothesis, currently, comes almost exclusively from observational studies relating indices of birth size (which in part reflects fetal nutrition) to adult disease or disease risk markers. Observational associations may not be causal and may have arisen through confounding by factors associated with both smaller size at birth and later disease risk. An experimental study conducted in Birmingham 25 years ago showed that protein-energy supplementation amongst nutritionally at risk mothers increased offspring birth size. The experimental design means that this association is unlikely to have arisen through confounding. Adult offspring of mothers participating in this study are now being assessed to determine effects of supplementation on their current health. This will provide important evidence of the potential to improve public health through improving the nutrition of pregnant women. © 2004 British Nutrition Foundation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1467-3010.2004.00449.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nutrition Bulletin

Publication Date

01/12/2004

Volume

29

Pages

310 - 316