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[Editorial] Campaigning for preconception health

A three-paper Series on preconception health in this week’s issue draws special attention to an underappreciated period in the lifecycle with far-reaching consequences across the lifecourse. The Series highlights the importance of good health and nutrition of both women and men before conception, not only for the ability to conceive, pregnancy outcomes, and maternal and child health immediately after birth but also for the long-term health of the next generation and beyond. While it is now widely accepted that alcohol, smoking, certain medications, caffeine, and poor nutritional status during pregnancy have adverse outcomes, the effect of malnutrition in all its forms—overweight and obesity, undernutrition, and nutrient deficiency—before conception is less well understood.

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