Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S. Type 2 diabetes is one of the leading causes of heart disease along with obesity, a lack of physical movement, and poor nutrition. People of color are disproportionately affected compared to their white counterparts because these minority groups are living in communities where they rely on convenient stores as their main source of buying food which lack healthy vegetables and fruit options for purchase. With these limited resources in their environment it is hard to get adequate nutrition for anyone let along a mother or child. In a study whose research focused on the people of color, they could directly link the birthweight and high levels of fat to poorer heart health. The research suggests that a mother’s poor nutrition while the baby is developing is a determining factor in the risk of adult heart disease. Another study looked at a mother’s diet that was lower in protein (meat, beans, eggs) and higher in carbohydrates (grain and bread) had a higher percentage of abdominal fat in the baby.
Toxic stress while baby is in the womb and especially if the baby was born early has also been related to a higher risk of heart disease for both the mother and the baby later on as an adult. Stress can develop and build on itself from birth through adulthood to old age causing heart problems. When the baby is still developing the episodes of stress only need to last for a few days to cause a long-term heart problem. Also, early after the baby has been born the stressful environment can influence heart problems
Center for Disease Control. (2017, November 28). Heart Disease. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
Tain, Y., & Hsu, C. (2017). Interplay between Oxidative Stress and Nutrient Sensing Signaling in the Developmental Origins of Cardiovascular Disease. International Journal of Molecular Sciences,18(4), 841.
Wicklow, B. A., & Sellers, E. A. (2015). Maternal health issues and cardio-metabolic outcomes in the offspring: A focus on Indigenous populations. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology,29(1), 43-53.