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The health, growth and development of the foetus depend on the nutritional
status of the mother before conception and during pregnancy. Women who
are underweight or overweight at the time of conception are at a greater
risk of developing complications during pregnancy, labour and delivery and having premature and low birth weight infants. However, once pregnant, women should not try to lose weight but should have adequate nutrition throughout pregnancy as this is the time when the foetus requires extra nutritional requirements which can only be met by dietary intake and body stores.

Based on the perceived need for supplementation, the consumer
will be seeking a product to fill the need. While the manufacturer
and the regulatory agencies must play major roles in ensuring the
safety of dietary supplements available to the public, the consumer
who makes the choice to purchase and use dietary supplements can
also be proactive and take control of what he or she purchases to
consume.

Children aged two to five years have high energy and nutrient needs
because of their continued growth and development.  To ensure that
the preschooler’s diet is nutritionally adequate, it should be based on a
wide variety of foods from the six food groups.  This will provide sufficent
energy and nutrients required for good health and physical and mental
development.

School aged children require a varied balance of foods from the six
food groups for overall growth and health. Eating healthy assists
their full potential in physical and mental development. Children
require sufficient energy and nutrients to meet the needs of their
growing bodies. Adequate protein is needed for the formation of bone
tissue and lean body mass. Iron is essential for growth, the immune
system and cognitive functions.

Strange as it may seem, the most widely consumed drug in the world is
not alcohol, marijuana or even cocaine – it is caffeine!  Caffeine is a
stimulant that is found in the leaves, fruits and beans of some plants.
The most popular caffeine containing plants are coffee (beans), the kola
nut and teas.  In this issue of Nyam News, we will examine the effect of
caffeine on health and well being and determine if there are any benefits
to be derived from the consumption of this naturally occurring alkaloid.

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Caribbean Food & Nutrition Institute
Jamaica Centre

University of the West Indies Campus Mona, P. O. Box 140, Kingston 7, Jamaica
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Caribbean Food & Nutrition Institute
Trinidad Centre

University of the West Indies Campus St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago
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