A new study has shown that poor health among men and women can drastically affect the health of their unborn child.

Smoking and drinking are two known factors attributed to health issues among children, but now it has been found that obesity and poor eating habits can also have long-term effects on children's development.

The Lancet, a medical journal, states that these new findings should encourage serious awareness among everyone before conceiving a child. 

"Evidence for preconceptional effect on lifetime health is now so compelling that it calls for new guidance on parental preparation for pregnancy, beginning before conception," The Lancet states.

What's Best For The Baby?

According to the study, obesity in either men or women can lead to complications such as heart attack, stroke, or even diabetes in their future children. It further elaborated that obesity found in women could enhance levels of inflammation in embryos and hormones, which would affect the egg and embryo and lead to chronic diseases for the child later in life.

As to how it will affect the baby if the father is overweight, the study states that the same can happen if there are deficiencies in the sperm. If the mother is suffering from malnutrition, the child could suffer from developmental issues, which can also lead to future generational problems.

Unfortunately, the information in this new study is not well-known. The research shows that poor nutrition and weight issues are still highly common among young women, particularly those who have reached the reproductive stage.

The study also states that about 96 percent of women had below the recommended intake levels for iron and folate. Women are not nutritionally prepared prior to pregnancy and trying to adjust the diet is not enough to prevent these effects from taking place.

The authors of the study concluded that proper health and nutrition should begin in the early stages of young adults' life and should also be taught in schools. Doing this will help prepare them to become healthy parents and for certain effects and diseases to be prevented among their future children. 

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