Obesity, particularly in children and adolescents, has become a significant public health problem that has reached “epidemic” status worldwide. The etiology of obesity is complex and involves lifestyle factors that are challenging to modify. The intestinal microbiota contribute to protection against pathogens, maturation of the immune system, and metabolic welfare of the host but, under some circumstances, can contribute to the pathogenesis of certain diseases. Over the last decade, novel evidence from animal and human studies has identified associations between human intestinal bacteria and host metabolism and obesity. Infancy is a critical period in the development of the gut microbiota: initial colonization is influenced not only by a number of early-life exposures, including birth mode, infant nutrition, or antibiotic use, but also by maternal factors during pregnancy, including maternal BMI, nutrition, gut microbial composition, and drug exposure, among others. Thus, an adequate nutritional and microbial environment during the perinatal period and early life may provide windows of opportunity to reduce the risk of obesity and overweight in our children by using targeted strategies aimed to modulate the gut microbiota during early life.
Part of the book: Adiposity
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of people with diabetes has risen to 422 million in 2014. Poorly managed diabetes leads to chronic hyper and/or hypoglycaemia, which are associated with neurological complications in type 1 (T1DM) and type 2 (T2DM) diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the primary target of diabetic treatment is to achieve a good glycaemic control (GC). In this chapter, we reviewed studies published up to September 2017 about GC and cognitive development in diabetic children and adolescents, as well as the nutritional approaches used for the management of diabetes in childhood, focusing on low glycaemic index (GI) diets. According to different studies, low GI diets effectively improve GC, which may reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications, such as cognitive dysfunction; however, the evidence is not sufficiently robust and the results are inconclusive. Despite the fact that, low GI diets are consistent with healthy eating recommendations and should be encouraged in the prevention and nutritional management of diabetes. Further research is needed in diabetic children and adolescents at risk, especially well-designed long-term randomised controlled trials, with larger sample size, to determine the true value of low GI diets on long-term GC and diabetes prevention and management.
Part of the book: Diabetes Food Plan