Is food the most important medicine of our life?
How and why what a mother eats directly influences her baby’s health. For the rest of its life.
Netherlands, October 1944: the Germans retaliated against the partisans by cutting off food supply lines to the towns and cities.
Until May 1945, four million Dutch people were reduced to starvation.
Almost 50,000 pregnant women became the subjects of an involuntary experiment.
Forty years on, their children began to suffer from diabetes, heart attacks and strokes at a significantly higher rate than average.
It was a clue that set research in motion.
Now we know that the foetus constantly adjusts its development and metabolism based on signals it receives from its mother through the placenta. If the signals suggest that the outside environment is difficult, it gears itself up to survive, if necessary by foregoing a longer life. However, if the signals are good, it prepares for a long, full life. It will be born with more muscle cells and less adipose cells. It will have a stronger heart and more flexible arteries, kidneys better able to control pressure, less hunger for fatty foods, and more desire for physical exercise. For the rest of its life.
And the best signals a mother can send are a healthy weight, but above all a perfectly balanced diet.
Is food the most important medicine for our lives?