Obesity and the developmental origins of health and disease

Authors

  • Matthew W Kemp,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Women's and Infants' Health, The University of Western Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia
      Dr Matthew W Kemp, School of Women's and Infants' Health, The University of Western Australia, Level 2, King Edward Memorial Hospital, 374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia. Fax: +61 8 93813031; email: mkemp@meddent.uwa.edu.au
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  • Suhas G Kallapur,

    1. School of Women's and Infants' Health, The University of Western Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia
    2. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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  • Alan H Jobe,

    1. School of Women's and Infants' Health, The University of Western Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia
    2. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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  • John P Newnham

    1. School of Women's and Infants' Health, The University of Western Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia
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Dr Matthew W Kemp, School of Women's and Infants' Health, The University of Western Australia, Level 2, King Edward Memorial Hospital, 374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia. Fax: +61 8 93813031; email: mkemp@meddent.uwa.edu.au

Abstract

The concept that environmental stimuli imparted on a developing organism have the potential to affect both its short- and long-term developmental profiles is intuitively appealing and, more importantly, supported by a growing body of experimental and observational evidence. A number of groups have posited model hypotheses in tandem with experimental data, linking extrinsic factors to the development of a host of human diseases. Here, we review the evolution of ‘the developmental origins of health and disease’ as a concept and discuss recent advances in the association of specific stimuli to obesity, an epidemic cause of human morbidity and mortality.

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