Egg comes first says honoured scientist - Professor Peter Gluckman
Professor Peter Gluckman is leading a major international project.
Made up of economists, scientists, and public health experts, they hope to determine the economic and social costs of an unhealthy start to life.
For the past 15 years, Dr Gluckman's team has focused on how early life development can determine a person's health throughout life.
"The most important fundamental question in medicine is what makes us what we are.
For example, why is one person fat and another not, or why does one person have a successful pregnancy and the next doesn't?" he says.
"The answer is, it's about your genes and the way you live. But it's equally about the way you develop from the time you're a single fertilised egg. And that's something that's largely been left out of the medical and public health equation".
A poor start to life, often the result of poor maternal nutrition and health, can have far-reaching consequences.
"Leading to conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and learning disorders", he says.
"We believe that by providing hard evidence to governments and health agencies, there'll be a change in influence on where health dollars are spent".
You can learn more about how to improve the health of your baby and have a healthy conception through my Female & Male Fertility & Preconception Care Package.
Ref: East & Bays Courier, N.Z. Wednesday 16th January 2008.