Research Topic

Nutrition During the First 1000 Days and Fetal Programming

About this Research Topic

Accumulating data from animal and human studies indicate that the prenatal environment plays a significant role in shaping children’s future health. Failure to provide key nutrients during pregnancy and early life leads to lifelong consequences despite later nutrient repletion. Clinical, epidemiologic, and basic research suggests that alterations in maternal nutritional and metabolic status are linked to poor fetal and infant growth, and development of type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, as well as cognitive and behavioral disorders later in life. The mechanisms by which prenatal experiences exert their influence with long-term effects include permanent changes in organ structure and/or cellular functions, and alteration in gene expression by epigenetic modifications. In this context, maternal and child nutrition during the first 1000 days (280 days of pregnancy plus 730 infantile days after birth), represent a window of opportunity to influence future health and contribute to reduce the burden of non-communicable chronic diseases.

Despite global efforts, nutrition during the first 1,000 days remains as the biggest challenge to reshape the future of public health, so integrated research in this area will help to define what we know and still need to know to propose concrete actions and strategies in order to mitigate non-communicable chronic diseases effects. This Research Topic aims to provide a timely overview about the effect of an unhealthy maternal nutrition –from undernutrition to obesity- on fetal programming as a conditioning factor of future health, to increase our knowledge about the significance of a good nutrition during the first 1,000 days in the mother-child dyad that determines the development of non-communicable chronic diseases later in life.

Basic, clinical and epidemiological research articles and current review contributions exploring the following aspects will be particularly welcomed:

- Observational or intervention studies about the effect of maternal diet and supplementation on offspring development

- Emerging roles of epigenetic regulation on fetal metabolic programming

- Role of macro-micronutrients in growth and body composition

- Exclusive breastfeeding and its role in growth, body composition and children´s metabolic phenotype

- Complementary feeding practices and adiposity markers early and later in life

- Inflammatory diet and risk of adverse outcomes

- Research on perinatal cohorts about nutrition and metabolic programming

- Maternal nutrition effect on infant neurocognitive development

- Intervention strategies to reduce the non-communicable chronic disease burden

- Prenatal and postnatal contributions of the maternal microbiome on fetal programming

- Effect of maternal obesity and inadequate gestational weight gain on fetal programming

- Programming of chronic disease by impaired fetal nutrition and growth

- Animal studies addressing the effects of maternal diet on offspring development

Image copyright: gerardotapiapintor@gmail.com / @GerardoTapiaArt


Keywords: Pregnancy, Fetal Programming, Early Nutrition, Children Health, Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Accumulating data from animal and human studies indicate that the prenatal environment plays a significant role in shaping children’s future health. Failure to provide key nutrients during pregnancy and early life leads to lifelong consequences despite later nutrient repletion. Clinical, epidemiologic, and basic research suggests that alterations in maternal nutritional and metabolic status are linked to poor fetal and infant growth, and development of type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, as well as cognitive and behavioral disorders later in life. The mechanisms by which prenatal experiences exert their influence with long-term effects include permanent changes in organ structure and/or cellular functions, and alteration in gene expression by epigenetic modifications. In this context, maternal and child nutrition during the first 1000 days (280 days of pregnancy plus 730 infantile days after birth), represent a window of opportunity to influence future health and contribute to reduce the burden of non-communicable chronic diseases.

Despite global efforts, nutrition during the first 1,000 days remains as the biggest challenge to reshape the future of public health, so integrated research in this area will help to define what we know and still need to know to propose concrete actions and strategies in order to mitigate non-communicable chronic diseases effects. This Research Topic aims to provide a timely overview about the effect of an unhealthy maternal nutrition –from undernutrition to obesity- on fetal programming as a conditioning factor of future health, to increase our knowledge about the significance of a good nutrition during the first 1,000 days in the mother-child dyad that determines the development of non-communicable chronic diseases later in life.

Basic, clinical and epidemiological research articles and current review contributions exploring the following aspects will be particularly welcomed:

- Observational or intervention studies about the effect of maternal diet and supplementation on offspring development

- Emerging roles of epigenetic regulation on fetal metabolic programming

- Role of macro-micronutrients in growth and body composition

- Exclusive breastfeeding and its role in growth, body composition and children´s metabolic phenotype

- Complementary feeding practices and adiposity markers early and later in life

- Inflammatory diet and risk of adverse outcomes

- Research on perinatal cohorts about nutrition and metabolic programming

- Maternal nutrition effect on infant neurocognitive development

- Intervention strategies to reduce the non-communicable chronic disease burden

- Prenatal and postnatal contributions of the maternal microbiome on fetal programming

- Effect of maternal obesity and inadequate gestational weight gain on fetal programming

- Programming of chronic disease by impaired fetal nutrition and growth

- Animal studies addressing the effects of maternal diet on offspring development

Image copyright: gerardotapiapintor@gmail.com / @GerardoTapiaArt


Keywords: Pregnancy, Fetal Programming, Early Nutrition, Children Health, Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

03 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

03 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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