chapter  17
47 Pages

Nutrition and the human lifecycle

WithGeoffrey P. Webb

Overt deficiency diseases are uncommon in industrialised countries but this is no guarantee that many people are not more subtly affected by suboptimal nutrition. Certain lifecycle groups, especially rapidly growing children, might be expected to need diets that are richer in essential nutrients than the general adult diet. Children have higher relative requirement for several essential nutrients but on the same relative basis they also need more energy, i.e. need to eat relatively more food. Several age groups of children and other lifecycle groups have been selected to illustrate the general principle. Healthy well-fed women have the best chance of having healthy babies and of lactating successfully after birth. Morning sickness affects over half of women in the early part of pregnancy and this could compound with other stresses to deplete nutrient stores in some women. The ideal outcome to pregnancy is not only a healthy baby but also a healthy mother who is nutritionally well prepared to lactate.