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Project Collection "Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days"

A project collection of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This project collection belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Papers displayed on this page all arise from the same project. Editorial decisions were made independently of project staff and handled by the Editor-in-Chief or qualified Editorial Board members.

Project Leader

Project Leader
Dr. Angelo Pietrobelli
1. Pediatric Unit, Verona University Medical School; Verona Italy 2. Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
E-Mail
Interests: pediatric obesity; pediatric nutrition; pediatric body composition; pediatric endocrinology; metabolic syndrome
Project Leader
Dr. Massimo Agosti
Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Unit Care, Maternal & Child Department Del Ponte Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera Di Circolo Fondazione Macchi, Varese, Italy Via Del Ponte, 19, 21100 Varese Italy
E-Mail
Interests: neonatology; intensive unit care; nutrition
Project Leader
Dr. Gianvincenzo Zuccotti
Department of Pediatrics, Ospedale dei Bambini -V. Buzzi Director Center for Research in Nutrition (CURN) Biomedical and Clinical Science Department, Università degli Studi di Milano 32, Via Castelvetro, 20154 Milan, Italy
E-Mail
Interests: pediatric nutrition; pediatric obesity; growth

Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. María M. Morales Suárez-Varela

1 CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain
2 Center for Public Health Research (CSISP), Valencia, Spain
3 Unit of Public Health and Environmental Care, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Valencia, Avda. Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: health and environmental risk assessment; clinical epidemiology; public health

Project Overview

Dear Colleagues,

The Mediterranean Nutrition (MeNu) Group are initiating a Project Collection on the pediatric obesity prevention in the first 1000 days of life. We have invited Prof. Dr. María M. Morales Suárez-Varela to serve as the Guest Editor of this Collection. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health.

The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has increased in the majority of countries in the last decades. Thinking in a simplistic way, we can consider obesity to be the result of an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. In addition, the environment from conception to childhood may influence the child’s future health. The first 1000 days of life starts with a woman’s pregnancy and offers a unique window of opportunity to contribute to obesity prevention.

This Project Collection is only open to the submissions from MeNu Group members.

Dr. Angelo Pietrobelli
Dr. Massimo Agosti
Dr. Gianvincenzo Zuccotti
Project Leaders

 Prof. Dr. María M. Morales Suárez-Varela
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • nutrition
  • growth
  • public health
  • pediatric obesity prevention
  • energy intake and energy expenditure
  • quality of life
  • physical activity
  • measurements
  • body composition
  • future health
  • environmental exposure
  • good practices to help prevent obesity

Published Papers (7 papers)

2017

Jump to: 2016

Open AccessOpinion Nutrition in the First 1000 Days: Ten Practices to Minimize Obesity Emerging from Published Science
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1491; doi:10.3390/ijerph14121491
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has increased in most countries the last decades. Considering this in a simplistic way, we can say that obesity is the result of an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Moreover, the environment from conception
[...] Read more.
The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has increased in most countries the last decades. Considering this in a simplistic way, we can say that obesity is the result of an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Moreover, the environment from conception to childhood could influence the child’s future health. The first 1000 days of life start with woman’s pregnancy, and offer a unique window of opportunity to contribute to obesity prevention. In light of the actual literature, the aim of our article is to discuss a proposal of 10 good practices to minimize obesity in the first 1000 days emerging from published science. (1) Both the mother’s and the father’s behaviors are important. A balanced diet with appropriate fat and protein intake, and favoring fruits and vegetables, is recommended for both parents during the conception period and pregnancy. Furthermore, overweight/obese women who are planning to become pregnant should reduce their weight before conception. (2) During pregnancy, at birth, and during early life, body composition measurements are crucial to monitor the baby’s growth. (3) Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended at the beginning of life until six months of age. (4) Four to six months of age is the optimal window to introduce complementary feeding. Until one year of age, breast milk or follow-on/commercial formula is the main recommended feeding source, and cow’s milk should be avoided until one year of age. (5) Fruit and vegetable introduction should begin early. Daily variety, diversity in a meal, and repeated exposure to the food, up to eight times, are efficient strategies to increase acceptance of food not well accepted at first. There is no need to add sugar, salt, or sugary fluids to the diet. (6) Respect the child’s appetite and avoid coercive “clean your plate” feeding practices. Adapt the portion of food and don’t use food as reward for good behavior. (7) Limit animal protein intake in early life to reduce the risk of an early adiposity rebound. Growing-up milk for children between one and three years of age should be preferred to cow’s milk, in order to limit intake and meet essential fatty acid and iron needs. (8) The intake of adequate fat containing essential fatty acids should be promoted. (9) Parents should be role models when feeding, with TV and other screens turned-off during meals. (10) Preventive interventions consisting of promoting physical activity and sufficient time dedicated to sleep should be employed. In fact, short sleep duration may be associated with increased risk of developing obesity. Based on literature reviews, and given the suggestions described in this manuscript, concerted public health efforts are needed to achieve the healthy objectives for obesity and nutrition, and to fight the childhood obesity epidemic. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

2016

Jump to: 2017

Open AccessArticle Complementary Feeding Strategies to Facilitate Acceptance of Fruits and Vegetables: A Narrative Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1160; doi:10.3390/ijerph13111160
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Complementary feeding (CF), which should begin after exclusive breastfeeding for six months, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), or after four months and before six months according to the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), is a period when
[...] Read more.
Complementary feeding (CF), which should begin after exclusive breastfeeding for six months, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), or after four months and before six months according to the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), is a period when the infant implicitly learns what, when, how, and how much to eat. At the onset of CF, the brain and the gut are still developing and maturing, and food experiences contribute to shaping brain connections involved in food hedonics and in the control of food intake. These learning processes are likely to have a long-term impact. Children’s consumption of fruit and vegetables (FV) is below recommendations in many countries. Thus, it is crucial to establish preferences for FV early, when infants are learning to eat. The development of food preferences mainly starts when infants discover their first solid foods. This narrative review summarizes the factors that influence FV acceptance at the start of the CF period: previous milk feeding experience; timing of onset of CF; repeated exposures to the food; variety of foods offered as of the start of the CF period; quality and sensory properties of the complementary foods; quality of the meal time context; and parental responsive feeding. Full article
Open AccessEditorial Putting the Barker Theory into the Future: Time to Act on Preventing Pediatric Obesity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1151; doi:10.3390/ijerph13111151
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 26 October 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
PDF Full-text (223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Growth and development are key characteristics of childhood and sensitive markers of health and adequate nutrition. The first 1000 days of life—conception through 24 months of age—represent a fundamental period for development and thus the prevention of childhood obesity and its adverse consequences
[...] Read more.
Growth and development are key characteristics of childhood and sensitive markers of health and adequate nutrition. The first 1000 days of life—conception through 24 months of age—represent a fundamental period for development and thus the prevention of childhood obesity and its adverse consequences is mandatory. There are many growth drivers during this complex phase of life, such as nutrition, genetic and epigenetic factors, and hormonal regulation. The challenge thus involves maximizing the potential for normal growth without increasing the risk of associated disorders. The Mediterranean Nutrition Group (MeNu Group), a group of researchers of the Mediterranean Region, in this Special Issue titled “Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days”, presented results that advanced the science of obesity risk factors in early life, coming both from animal model studies and studies in humans. In the future, early-life intervention designs for the prevention of pediatric obesity will need to look at different strategies, and the MeNu Group is available for guidance regarding an appropriate conceptual framework to accomplish either prevention or treatment strategies to tackle pediatric obesity. Full article
Open AccessReview Nutrition in the First 1000 Days: The Origin of Childhood Obesity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(9), 838; doi:10.3390/ijerph13090838
Received: 8 July 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 18 August 2016 / Published: 23 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Childhood obesity is a major global issue. Its incidence is constantly increasing, thereby offering a threatening public health perspective. The risk of developing the numerous chronic diseases associated with this condition from very early in life is significant. Although complex and multi-factorial, the
[...] Read more.
Childhood obesity is a major global issue. Its incidence is constantly increasing, thereby offering a threatening public health perspective. The risk of developing the numerous chronic diseases associated with this condition from very early in life is significant. Although complex and multi-factorial, the pathophysiology of obesity recognizes essential roles of nutritional and metabolic aspects. Particularly, several risk factors identified as possible determinants of later-life obesity act within the first 1000 days of life (i.e., from conception to age 2 years). The purpose of this manuscript is to review those key mechanisms for which a role in predisposing children to obesity is supported by the most recent literature. Throughout the development of the human feeding environment, three different stages have been identified: (1) the prenatal period; (2) breast vs. formula feeding; and (3) complementary diet. A deep understanding of the specific nutritional challenges presented within each phase might foster the development of future preventive strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Diet before and during Pregnancy and Offspring Health: The Importance of Animal Models and What Can Be Learned from Them
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 586; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060586
Received: 11 March 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1046 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review article outlines epidemiologic studies that support the hypothesis that maternal environment (including early nutrition) plays a seminal role in determining the offspring’s long-term health and metabolism, known as the concept of Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases (DOHaD). In this context,
[...] Read more.
This review article outlines epidemiologic studies that support the hypothesis that maternal environment (including early nutrition) plays a seminal role in determining the offspring’s long-term health and metabolism, known as the concept of Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases (DOHaD). In this context, current concerns are particularly focused on the increased incidence of obesity and diabetes, particularly in youth and women of child-bearing age. We summarize key similarities, differences and limitations of various animal models used to study fetal programming, with a particular focus on placentation, which is critical for translating animal findings to humans. This review will assist researchers and their scientific audience in recognizing the pros and cons of various rodent and non-rodent animal models used to understand mechanisms involved in fetal programming. Knowledge gained will lead to improved translation of proposed interventional therapies before they can be implemented in humans. Although rodents are essential for fundamental exploration of biological processes, other species such as rabbits and other domestic animals offer more tissue-specific physiological (rabbit placenta) or physical (ovine maternal and lamb birth weight) resemblances to humans. We highlight the important maternal, placental, and fetal/neonatal characteristics that contribute to developmentally programmed diseases, specifically in offspring that were affected in utero by undernutrition, overnutrition or maternal diabetes. Selected interventions aimed at prevention are summarized with a specific focus on the 1000 days initiative in humans, and maternal exercise or modification of the n-3/n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) balance in the diet, which are currently being successfully tested in animal models to correct or reduce adverse prenatal programming. Animal models are essential to understand mechanisms involved in fetal programming and in order to propose interventional therapies before they can be implemented in humans. Non-rodent animals are particularly important and should not be neglected, as they are often more physiologically-appropriate models to mimic the human situation. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Diet of Preschool Children in the Mediterranean Countries of the European Union: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 572; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060572
Received: 28 March 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This systematic review discusses data on the dietary intake of preschool children living in the Mediterranean countries of the European Union, including the comparison with a Mediterranean-like diet and the association with nutritional status. Specifically, data from the multinational European Identification and Prevention
[...] Read more.
This systematic review discusses data on the dietary intake of preschool children living in the Mediterranean countries of the European Union, including the comparison with a Mediterranean-like diet and the association with nutritional status. Specifically, data from the multinational European Identification and Prevention on Dietary and life style induced health effects in children and infants (IDEFICS) study and national studies, such as the Estudo do Padrão Alimentar e de Crescimento Infantil (EPACI) study and Geração XXI cohort in Portugal, ALimentando la SAlud del MAñana (ALSALMA) study in Spain, Étude des Déterminants pré-et postnatals précoces du développement et de la santé de l’ENfant (EDEN) cohort in France, Nutrintake 636 study in Italy, and Growth, Exercise and Nutrition Epidemiological Study in preSchoolers (GENESIS) cohort in Greece, were analyzed. In the majority of countries, young children consumed fruit and vegetables quite frequently, but also consumed sugared beverages and snacks. High energy and high protein intakes mainly from dairy products were found in the majority of countries. The majority of children also consumed excessive sodium intake. Early high prevalence of overweight and obesity was found, and both early consumption of energy-dense foods and overweight seemed to track across toddler and preschool ages. Most children living in the analyzed countries showed low adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet, which in turn was associated with being overweight/obese. Unhealthier diets were associated with lower maternal educational level and parental unemployment. Programs promoting adherence of young children to the traditional Mediterranean diet should be part of a multi-intervention strategy for the prevention and treatment of pediatric overweight and obesity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Nutrient Intakes in Early Life and Risk of Obesity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 564; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060564
Received: 11 March 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 6 June 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2103 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is increasing evidence that environmental factors in early life predict later health. The early adiposity rebound recorded in most obese subjects suggests that factors promoting body fat development have operated in the first years of life. Birth weight, growth velocity and body
[...] Read more.
There is increasing evidence that environmental factors in early life predict later health. The early adiposity rebound recorded in most obese subjects suggests that factors promoting body fat development have operated in the first years of life. Birth weight, growth velocity and body mass index (BMI) trajectories seem to be highly sensitive to the environmental conditions present during pregnancy and in early life (“The first 1000 days”). Particularly, nutritional exposure can have a long-term effect on health in adulthood. The high protein-low fat diet often recorded in young children may have contributed to the rapid rise of childhood obesity prevalence during the last decades. Metabolic programming by early nutrition could explain the development of later obesity and adult diseases. Full article
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