A pregnant woman

Pregnancy a powerful time 

Pre-conception, pregnancy and the early years are key periods in which healthy lifestyle choices can positively influence a mother and child's life-long health.

Good nutrition and physical activity can help to reduce the risk of both the mother and child developing diseases later in life such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Some cancers.

The great news is that healthy eating and activity choices can be simple, affordable, and achievable for all cultures and family situations.

It's becoming more and more important for maternity and child health professionals to include discussions about healthy lifestyles in their work with mothers, infants, families and whanau.


Find out more about what this means for you

mother meeting baby for the first time

NZ research reveals childhood predictors
of adult obesity

New Zealand researchers have identified key elements in childhood that increase the risk a child will go on to become overweight or obese.

These include being male, being born into a single-parent family, having parents with larger body size, and limited or no breastfeeding.

Director of the Christchurch Health and Development Study and one of the researchers for this project, Professor John Horwood, the findings confirm that risk of obesity is related to a complex mix of factors reflecting biological endowment, socio-economic disadvantage, early diet and adverse childhood experience.

“Individually, the identified risk factors have a relatively modest impact on adult weight, but jointly they can add up to something that is substantial,” he says.

Read more about the predictors of adult obesity here.

Healthy Start Workforce Project Registration Heading

The Healthy Start Workforce Project offers free workforce development programmes.


Our online education programme explores the science which shows how good nutrition and physical activity during early life can reduce health risks in adulthood.  


Our Healthy Conversation Skills workshop provides tools to enable health practitioners to better support clients to make lasting behaviour changes, especially in the area of nutrition and physical activity. 

Our programmes qualify for professional development hours midwives, nurses, GPs and exercise professionals.

Register for our programmes
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