Child and maternal nutrition

Good maternal nutrition and healthy infant and childhood growth are fundamental to the achievement and maintenance of health throughout life ref=33754 ref=33756. Key factors that impact on the maternal and perinatal outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their babies include young maternal age, remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage ref=32383.

Good nutrition prior to conception and during pregnancy influences both the mother’s health and that of her baby. It can influence intra-uterine growth, birthweight, and the risk of complications during pregnancy and birth ref=33754 ref=32383.

Poor nutrition in early childhood can affect growth, which is associated with both short and long term health effects including increased risk of infection and development of chronic diseases later in life ref=33756 ref=33920 ref=33921. Poor nutrition can result in both over-nutrition (obesity) and under-nutrition, with increasing rates of overweight and obesity being observed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, particularly Torres Strait Islander children ref=5304.

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