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Perinatal programming of obesity

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Obesity and overweight are the most frequent disorders in children and adolescents in industrialised countries, and there is a continuous increase in their prevalence. Moreover, numerous studies show an association between being overweight as a child and being overweight in adulthood with the risk of ...

Obesity and overweight are the most frequent disorders in children and adolescents in industrialised countries, and there is a continuous increase in their prevalence. Moreover, numerous studies show an association between being overweight as a child and being overweight in adulthood with the risk of associated health complications such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Its causes are mainly attributed to the intake of an excess of calories, together with low energy expenditure, as a result of a sedentary life style. A new paradigm for obesity prevention has emerged in recent years, which has evolved from the notion that nutritional and other environmental factors in early life can have a profound influence on lifelong health, including the propensity obesity and its related metabolic pathologies. In this sense, maternal prenatal malnutrition has been described to have long term consequences on offspring metabolic energy regulatory systems, and has been associated with obesity in adult rats and humans. Other conditions during perinatal life, breastfed feeding compared with formula feeding, as well as the intake of physiological doses of leptin during the suckling period, have been associated with certain protection against overweight in adulthood. Considering the global epidemic of obesity, the identification of strategies for its prevention, and particularly during early stages of life, becomes particularly imperative.
In this volume, we aim to describe, review and discuss known conditions in animal models or humans that have been associated with early programming of both obesity resistance and obesity propensity in adulthood, as well as possible mechanisms involved.


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