pregnantNew research has revealed that the embryos of women who are overweight or obese at the time they conceive display distinct differences in early development compared to embryos from women of a healthy weight.

Janet Fyle, professional policy advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, suggested that the rapidly increasing levels of obesity in the population signals the need for a “much stronger focus on better health education for women” including early health promoting messages in schools within the Personal, Social and Health Education Curriculum.

“This research supports and reaffirms our advice about the potentially negative effects of obesity on pregnancy and the developing baby,” she added.

“Failing to tackle the causes of obesity has serious consequences for women, families and the population as a whole.”

A recent Ofsted report, which was based on evidence from 50 maintained schools and an online survey of 178 young people, found PSHE education was good or better in 60 per cent of schools but required improvement or was inadequate in 40 per cent.

The ‘Not yet good enough’ report highlights that the weakest aspects of teaching PSHE are the assessment of how well pupils have understood what they are taught and planning for new work. In too many schools, teachers did not check or build on pupils’ previous knowledge, which resulted in them repeating topics. Teachers also had low expectations of the quality of work done by pupils.