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Can We Modify the Intrauterine Environment to Halt the Intergenerational Cycle of Obesity?
Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
Faculty of Medicine, Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 January 2012; in revised form: 24 February 2012 / Accepted: 27 February 2012 / Published: 16 April 2012
Abstract: Child obesity is a global epidemic whose development is rooted in complex and multi-factorial interactions. Once established, obesity is difficult to reverse and epidemiological, animal model, and experimental studies have provided strong evidence implicating the intrauterine environment in downstream obesity. This review focuses on the interplay between maternal obesity, gestational weight gain and lifestyle behaviours, which may act independently or in combination, to perpetuate the intergenerational cycle of obesity. The gestational period, is a crucial time of growth, development and physiological change in mother and child. This provides a window of opportunity for intervention via maternal nutrition and/or physical activity that may induce beneficial physiological alternations in the fetus that are mediated through favourable adaptations to in utero environmental stimuli. Evidence in the emerging field of epigenetics suggests that chronic, sub-clinical perturbations during pregnancy may affect fetal phenotype and long-term human data from ongoing randomized controlled trials will further aid in establishing the science behind ones predisposition to positive energy balance.
Keywords: child obesity; pregnancy; gestational weight gain; lifestyle change
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Adamo, K.B.; Ferraro, Z.M.; Brett, K.E. Can We Modify the Intrauterine Environment to Halt the Intergenerational Cycle of Obesity? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 1263-1307.
Adamo KB, Ferraro ZM, Brett KE. Can We Modify the Intrauterine Environment to Halt the Intergenerational Cycle of Obesity? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(4):1263-1307.
Adamo, Kristi B.; Ferraro, Zachary M.; Brett, Kendra E. 2012. "Can We Modify the Intrauterine Environment to Halt the Intergenerational Cycle of Obesity?" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 4: 1263-1307.