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Research provides new insight into why poor diet during pregnancy negatively affects offspring’s long term health.
Poor diet during pregnancy increases offspring’s vulnerability to the effects of aging, new research has shown for the first time.
The research, by scientists from the University of Cambridge, provides important insight into why children born to mothers who consumed an unhealthy diet during pregnancy have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (a significant contributing factor to heart disease and cancer) later in life.
“What is most exciting about these findings is that we are now starting to really understand how nutrition during the first nine months of life spent in the womb shape our long term health by influencing how the cells in our body age,” said Dr Susan Ozanne, the senior author on the paper and British Heart Foundation Senior Fellow from the Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge.
It is well established that environmental factors interact with genes throughout life, affecting the expression of those genes and, consequently, tissue function and disease risk. Diet during critical periods of development, such as during the nine months in the womb, has been cited as one such environmental factor. Epigenetics, which refers to modifications to the DNA that regulate how much of a gene is produced, has been suggested to underlie these effects.
We know this has been done before,1 you can even take quizzes to see how “natural” you are,2 but we thought it would be fun to ask our readers some ways to tell that you are a natural parent.3 Below are some of their responses.4
Top 10 Ways to Know You Are a Natural Parent
- Contrary to popular belief, you do not think that McDonald’s is a place for eating or that Wal-mart is a place for shopping.
- Breastmilk is used as the first line of defense for many maladies: earache, eye infection, cold, etc.
- Not a single processed “nugget” item can be found in your freezer.
- Your mother-in-law offers to buy your little one a crib – and you decline – for the umpteenth time (note: your baby is now approaching the two year mark).
- You have no idea what is on the baby aisle at your local store, since you rarely (if ever) had to visit it.
Food safety, family planning, cancer research, and low-income housing—now add the Special Olympics to the long list of organizations and federal programs targeted for major funding cuts by congressional Republicans.
The House GOP’s budget, which passed last month, takes a hatchet to programs for disabled kids and Special Olympics athletes. The proposed cuts could force the closure of at least one Special Olympics program, which is funded through the Department of Education. Dubbed Project UNIFY, the program serves more than 750,000 students in 43 states and draws from techniques used in Special Olympics training for activities in public schools.
The program includes sports teams that pair disabled athletes with nondisabled athletes; developmental activities for young children with disabilities; and anti-discrimination programs to combat bullying in schools. Special Olympics president and CEO Tim Shriver has said the program is at the forefront of a national movement to fight bias against the disabled and, in a recent interview on MSNBC, he denounced the GOP cuts: “It wasn’t a haircut—it was a guillotine job for the programs for health and education for children with special needs.”
4. Yoga Journal Enlightened Motherhood: 5-4-3-2-1 Breathe …
Lucien and I have been working on what I like to think of as meditation for the pre-school set. When he starts getting anxious or upset about something–say, the fact that he’d really prefer NOT to wear his mittens–I ask him to take a deep breath. Or five. I get down to his level on the floor, make eye contact, and together we breathe.
What’s amazing to me? It actually works.
The other day we were heading out for a Saturday of family snowshoeing. Lucien insisted on wearing his top hat–a leftover from Halloween. Great for dress up, but not for the mountain. We insisted he wear a nice warm hat instead. Cue the very dramatic, very heartfelt tears.
“Lucien,” I said. “What do you do when you feel anxious or upset?”
No answer. “Breathe, remember?” I got down on the floor and started counting.
Before I could get to five he walked into the living room and came back with his warm hat on, all smiles.
5. Inhabitots: Lady Gaga Sues Over Baby Gaga Breast Milk Ice Cream
Baby Gaga breast milk ice cream is back on sale after being cleared by the UK health officials whobanned it last week, but trouble for the controversial flavor continues. Now, Lady Gaga is threatening to sue over the breast milk ice cream flavor, which in addition to stealing her name, is served by a Lady Gaga impersonator to complete the culinary experience. Lady Gaga’s attorney has already sent a cease and desist letter to the Icecreamists regarding the Baby Gaga name and calls the breast milk ice cream “deliberately provocative and, to many people, nausea-inducing.” Sounds like the often provocative and shocking popstar wants to be the only one creating wacky stunts tied to her namesake, and we bet she won’t make headlines by trying any breast milk foods soon.