Series Editors Introduction

The Nutrition and Health™ series of books has, an overriding mission to provide health professionals with texts that are considered essential because each includes: (1) a synthesis of the state of the science; (2) timely, in-depth reviews by the leading researchers in their respective fields; (3) extensive, up-to-date, fully annotated reference lists; (4) a detailed index; (5) relevant tables and figures; (6) identification of paradigm shifts and the consequences; (7) virtually no overlap of information between chapters, but targeted, inter-chapter referrals; (8) suggestions of areas for future research; and (9) balanced, data-driven answers to patient-health professionals' questions, which are based on the totality of evidence rather than the findings of any single study.

The series volumes are not the outcome of a symposium. Rather, each editor has the potential to examine a chosen area with a broad perspective, both in subject matter as well as in the choice of chapter authors. The international perspective, especially with regard to public health initiatives, is emphasized where appropriate. The editors, whose trainings are both research and practice oriented, have the opportunity to develop a primary objective for their book, define the scope and focus, and then invite the leading authorities from around the world to be part of their initiative. The authors are encouraged to provide an overview of the field, discuss their own research, and relate the research findings to potential human health consequences. Because each book is developed de novo, the chapters are coordinated so that the resulting volume imparts greater knowledge than the sum of the information contained in the individual chapters.

Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy, edited by Carol J. Lammi-Keefe, Sarah C. Couch, and Elliot H. Philipson, is a very welcome addition to the Nutrition and Health series and fully exemplifies the series' goals. This volume is especially timely since it includes in-depth discussions relevant to the changing health status of women of child-bearing potential around the world. As but one example, there is an extensive chapter on the obesity epidemic that continues to grow even in underdeveloped nations; the chapter includes an analysis of the comorbidities, such as gestational diabetes and related adverse pregnancy outcomes that continue to be seen in increased numbers annually. As indicated by E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, in the volume's Foreword, the editors have "...assembled 23 superb chapters on the latest, evidence-based approaches for managing the nutritional requirements of pregnant women in a variety of settings."

This volume has been given the title of handbook because of its inclusive coverage of virtually all of the relevant topics including, but not limited to, the role of nutritional status prepregnancy, during pregnancy, and afterwards; body composition; usual and recommended dietary intakes and intakes in those with eating disorders; dietary components and alternative dietary patterns including vegetarianism and vegan diets; drug-nutrient and drug-supplement interactions; bariatric surgery and pregnancy outcomes; adolescent pregnancy and multifetal pregnancy; pregnancy in HIV-infected women; pregnancy complications including preeclampsia; and the nutritional needs of the lactating woman and her nutritional needs postpartum, whether or not she is breastfeeding. This text is the first to synthesize the knowledge base for the health provider who is counseling both the woman anticipating pregnancy as well as the pregnant woman concerning diet, popular diets and diet supplements, and diet components and their effects on gastrointestinal function. Likewise, this volume contains valuable information for the health provider about the nutritional requirements following pregnancy. In addition to an expected single chapter on specific nutrients such as iron and folate, these essential nutrients are discussed in two chapters from the viewpoints of pregnancy in developed compared to underdeveloped countries, and thus these contrasting chapters will be of great value to the graduate student and academic researcher as well as the practicing nutritionist. Two examples of novel chapters that are unique to this volume include a review of postpartum depression and the nutrients that may be of benefit and a chapter on the role of flavors and fragrances on the fetus and their effects on food preferences later in life. Several chapters contain extensive lists of relevant Internet resources and screening tools that could be implemented in an office setting. Thus, this volume contains valuable information for the practicing health professional as well as those professionals and students who have an interest in the latest, up-to-date information on the full spectrum of data on nutrition and pregnancy and its implications for human health and disease.

The editors of this comprehensive volume are internationally recognized authorities on the role of nutrition in the health of women of childbearing potential and each provides both a practice as well as research perspective. Carol Lammi-Keefe, PhD, is Alma Beth Clark Professor and Division Head, Human Nutrition and Food at the School of Human Ecology, and also has an Adjunct Faculty appointment at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, LA. Prior to moving to LSU, Dr. Lammi-Keefe served as Professor and Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Sarah C. Couch, PhD, is Associate Professor and Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. Eliot H. Philipson, MD, currently serves as Vice Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Head of the Section of Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as a Diplomate of the American Board in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. The editors are excellent communicators, and they have worked tirelessly to develop a book that is destined to be the benchmark in the field because of its extensive, in-depth chapters covering the most important aspects of the complex interactions between cellular functions, diet and fetal development, and the impact of maternal health and disease states on both optimal pregnancy outcomes and enhanced maternal health and well-being.

The introductory chapters provide readers with the basics so that the more clinically related chapters can be easily understood. The editors have chosen 42 of the most well recognized and respected authors to contribute the 23 informative chapters in the volume. Hallmarks of all of the chapters include complete definitions of terms, with the abbreviations fully defined for the reader and consistent use of terms between chapters.

Key features of this comprehensive volume include the informative abstract and key words that are at the beginning of each chapter; more than 100 detailed tables and informative figures; an extensive, detailed index; and more than 1,500 up-to-date references that provide the reader with excellent sources of worthwhile information about diet, nutrition, and pregnancy.

In conclusion, Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy, edited by Carol J. Lammi-Keefe, Sarah C. Couch, and Elliot H. Philipson, provides health professionals in many areas of research and practice with the most up-to-date, well-referenced volume on the importance of nutrition in determining the potential for optimal pregnancy outcome. This volume will serve the reader as the benchmark in this complex area of interrelationships between preconception nutritional status; nutritional needs during pregnancy for those at low as well as high risk for adverse outcomes; postpregnancy nutritional recommendations in both lactating and nonlactating mothers; exercise needs for women during their childbearing years; dietary intakes, micronutrient requirements, global issues such as obesity and HIV infections, and the functioning of the human body during these transitions. Moreover, these interactions are clearly delineated so that students as well as practitioners can better understand the complex interactions. The editors are applauded for their efforts to develop the most authoritative resource in the field of nutrition and pregnancy to date, and this excellent text is a very welcome addition to the Nutrition and Health series.

Adrianne Bendich, PhD, FACN Series Editor

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