Half of women have an unhealthy pregnancy
Ruurd van Elburg, a professor at the University of Amsterdam, advocates tackling ignorance among young women about pregnancy and nutrition through education. Too many women start poorly prepared for their pregnancy with the necessary consequences.
"About 40% of women are overweight," says Ruurd van Elburg in an interview. "This group of women is more likely to have a premature child and runs a greater risk of problems during delivery." One in ten babies is born prematurely in developing countries.
"50% of women start taking folic acid on time. That is one of the few vitamins that people do not always get enough of. It reduces the chance of an spina bifida and premature birth. Many women stop taking the pill and think: haha, that will take some time. They only think of folic acid if they have already done the pregnancy test, but you have to start at least four weeks in advance. Ultimately, 90 to 95% of women use folic acid sometime during pregnancy, but often they start much too late."
Van Elburg advocates teaching you what to eat in high school for the best pregnancy. "During biology or sex education, that's part of it. It may sound a bit scary, because those children are still in their teens. But healthy eating and not getting too heavy is the basis for a healthy child. "
Since 2011, Van Elburg has been responsible for the scientific research program of food producer Nutricia. In his opinion, premature birth and food have everything to do with each other. "Many people who are fat think it's their genes, but the emergence of diseases of prosperity like diabetes has to do with what we eat in the first 1000 days of our lives, right from conception,".
What should you then no longer put on the shopping list? These are actually the things that are generally known. "Breastfeeding is always first choice for babies. For growing children, a good start is half the work. Fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and healthy fats. If you eat a lot of fast food, that will become your norm. A lot of food in the supermarket has been processed to keep it on the shelves, those substances can be unhealthy and often a lot of sugar has been added."
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