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Early Life Origins of Obesity and Related Complications

Singhal, A; (2018) Early Life Origins of Obesity and Related Complications. Indian Journal of Pediatrics , 85 (6) pp. 472-477. 10.1007/s12098-017-2554-3. Green open access

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Abstract

The idea that nutrition in early life (such as before conception, during pregnancy and in infancy) can influence, or programme, long-term health, known as the ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Hypothesis’, has generated great scientific interest. This concept is particularly relevant for the development of obesity and its complications, arguably the most important public health issue of the twenty-first century worldwide. The concept is strongly supported by evidence from animal studies, both observational and experimental (randomised) studies in humans, and is highly relevant for population health in both low-income and high-incomes countries. For instance, optimising nutrition in pregnancy (both in terms of under-nutrition and over-nutrition) and preventing too fast infant weight gain have been shown to reduce the risk of future obesity. Proposed mechanisms have included effects of early nutrition on the epigenome, hormones such as insulin, and regulation of appetite, that effect long-term risk of obesity. Although further data from experimental studies is required to support a causal link between early nutrition and future adiposity, the developmental origins hypothesis is already changing health policy and practice globally. The present review considers the evidence for the developmental origins of obesity, the mechanisms involved, and the implications for public health.

Type: Article
Title: Early Life Origins of Obesity and Related Complications
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12098-017-2554-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12098-017-2554-3
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Obesity, Programming Development, Infant growth, Breast-feeding
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072055
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