Episode 14: Nutrition in Pregnancy


Have Healthier Children

Did you know what a woman eats while pregnant not only affects her child, but her grandchildren as well?Patricia Kelikani

Episode Transcript

Patricia Kelikani, Health Journalist (Co-host): What if I told you that 1 out of every 5 pregnant women in the United States goes to bed hungry? Now, what if I told you that because they went to bed hungry their babies are now prone to have a chronic disease as an adult and, not only that, but their grandchildren as well. This unfortunate fact is a huge problem.

Dr. Mark Reeves, Surgical Oncologist (Co-host): On the other side of the spectrum, 1 out of every 3 pregnant women is overweight. This again has the same negative effect. Their children and their grandchildren will most likely have a chronic disease.

KELIKANI: Dr. Lawrence D. Longo of Loma Linda University Health is one of the world’s most respected specialists in developmental physiology.

DR. REEVES: His research on maternal health has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for the last 50 years. Today, we all know that smoking while pregnant has a negative effect on a child. Well, we can thank Dr. Longo for that. His most recent research has been focused on nutrition in pregnant women.

Dr. Lawrence D. Longo, Professor of physiology and obstetrics & gynecology: It’s a very sobering reality to think in terms of how something that happened during one pregnancy can have effects throughout several generations. One finds a host of diseases related to the cardiovascular system, hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, to aspects of metabolism, type 2 diabetes, and now the whole panoply of neuropsychiatric disorders which are showing up.

It’s a very sobering reality to think in terms of how something that happened during one pregnancy can have effects throughout several generations. Dr. Lawrence D. Longo

KELIKANI: Dr. Longo and his team of researchers have studied how protein deprivation during the course of gestation will have these effects on one’s health.

DR. LONGO: I think that as a society we should give more attention to pregnancy and early life in development.

KELIKANI: Now that we know what the consequences can be as our children become adults, we can’t stress the health advice enough.

DR. REEVES: Eat a balanced diet with enough protein and nutrients; take a prenatal vitamin every day with folic acid and DHA; and if you’re overweight, try as hard as you can to get a healthy weight by the time you conceive.

DR. LONGO: To quote one of my friend’s at the National Institutes of Health, every pregnant uterus is a center for excellence.

KELIKANI: There’s the tip for the day on how you can live healthier, longer.


Lawrence D. Longo, M.D., D.h.c. (Hon), FACOG, FRCOG


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