The effects on obesity of pre- and postnatal nutrition
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work34 pages
DepartmentHealth and Sports Sciences
Many factors affect obesity and the metabolic diseases associated with high body fat. These factors can be categorized as either epigenetic or genetic. Often, people only consider lifestyle choices such as hyper-caloric eating habits, exercise, stress, medicine and how they have an effect on their body mass. People often discount or ignore the genetic and epigenetic factors, despite research showing that the early-life experiences of fetuses and infants affect the expression of obesity and metabolic diseases. The periods of conception to birth and birth through the first year are extremely important periods that are much closer to the root of the worldwide obesity epidemic than other factors people can consider. The early experiences of fetuses and infants are proven to have lifelong effects on the prevalence of obesity and metabolic diseases. Although all periods of human development are important, a human’s earliest moments are identified as being critical to the development or avoidance of lifetime obesity. The first is “the prenatal period,” which includes all nine months of development. The nine months are broken into three trimesters, with the third including the first hours after birth. The when the fetus begins to develop taste and preference in the first trimester when the brain begins developing. The second is the postnatal period within the first year of life . This is when the infant learns portion control and continues to develop food preferences. Both periods of life feature the closely-linked dietary relationship between the mother and child, beginning with the placenta and ending with breastfeeding if it is the chosen form of feeding. As such, people should consider the importance of the mother’s dietary habits when studying obesity and metabolic diseases.