Preconception and Prenatal Factors and Metabolic Risk
This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.
Abstract: The prenatal period is a critical developmental stage for obesity and metabolic outcomes. In light of the global obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) epidemic and growing evidence of early life origins of obesity and diabetes, early identification of individuals at high risk and early prevention of obesity and metabolic syndrome are a key to achieve primary prevention and reverse the trends of the obesity and T2DM epidemics. This chapter will discuss the impact of important preconceptional and prenatal factors, including maternal obesity and/or diabetes, gestational weight gain, and maternal micronutrient status, on in utero and lifelong metabolic outcomes and the possible gene–environment interactions and epigenetic mechanisms underlying early life origins of metabolic risk. Finally, it will provide perspectives on current knowledge gaps and recommendations to advance the field.