The publication of the Department of Health White Paper "The Health
of the Nation" (1992) and more recently "Our Healthier Nation"
(1998) gave emphasis to the importance of nutritional health of the
nation at all ages. It is clear that the achievement of specific
targets for pregnancy and infancy as set out in the White Paper
will involve the training of all health care professionals in
nutrition education. This book responds to the challenge and
focuses on good nutrition for and during pregnancy, in low
birth-weight infants, and during infancy. It has a strong public
health emphasis, dealing with health prevention issues for the
Nation's younger population.
The text is written as a scientific reference book for those
seeking to apply science in the support of a successful pregnancy
and in the prevention of nutritional problems during foetal and
early post-natal life. The importance of optimal nutrition during
these periods of life is emphasised by the overwhelming evidence
that nutritional problems in early embryonic life may cause
congenital malformations and during late foetal life and early post
natal life may set the molecular programme for later disease
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