Upcoming Webinars


Click here to view recordings of previous webinars

"Introduction to the Handbook of Life Course Health Development", by Neal Halfon, MD, MPH, Tuesday, November 29, 2017, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

"Life Course Health Development of Individuals with Cerebral Palsy", by Robert J. Palisano, PT, ScD, FAPTA and colleagues, Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

"Middle Childhood - An Evolutionary Developmental Synthesis", by Marco DelGiudice, PhD, Monday, December 18, 2017, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

"The Emerging Theoretical Framework of Life Course Health Development", by Neal Halfon, MD, MPH and Christopher Forrest, MD, PhD. Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

"Emerging Adulthood as a Critical Stage in the Life Course", by David Wood, MD, MPH. Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

Support Us

LCRN is actively seeking additional funding to develop new and innovative transdisciplinary research and activities. If you would like to contribute, please contact Ericka Tullis, Project Manager, at ETullis@mednet.ucla.edu.

Maternal Obesity

By Various

The prevalence of obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, across all populations and age groups. Estimates suggest that 20% of women will be obese by 2025—a sobering statistic, particularly considering that obesity during pregnancy increases risk of adverse health outcomes to both mother and child. What’s more, obesity during pregnancy increases the risk of life-long health problems in children, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. This Series in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology examines the growing burden of maternal obesity worldwide in terms of its impact on clinical management and intergenerational health, and highlights the need for a focus on the pre-pregnancy period, along with a whole-of-society …

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Modifiable early-life risk factors for childhood adiposity and overweight: an analysis of their combined impact and potential for prevention

By Siân M Robinson, Sarah R Crozier, Nicholas C Harvey, Benjamin D Barton, Catherine M Law, Keith M Godfrey, Cyrus Cooper, and Hazel M Inskip

Background: Early life may be a “critical period” when appetite and regulation of energy balance are programmed, with lifelong consequences for obesity risk. Insight into the potential impact of modifying early-life risk factors on later obesity can be gained by evaluating their combined effects. Objective: The objective was to examine the relation between the number of early-life risk factors and obesity outcomes among children in a prospective birth cohort (Southampton Women’s Survey). Design: Five risk factors were defined: maternal obesity [prepregnant body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) >30], excess gestational weight gain (Institute of Medicine, 2009), smoking during pregnancy, low maternal vitamin D status ( Results: Of the children, 148 …

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The Surprising Implications of Premature Birth for Life Course Health Development

By Michael Msall

This webinar – the eighth in the LCRN’s series on The State of Life Course Health Development Research: Past, Present and Future – features Michael Msall, MD.   Dr. Msall, a Board Certified developmental and behavioral pediatrician, is Professor and Section Chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Professor of Community Health Sciences in The Institute for Molecular Pediatric Sciences at The University of Chicago. He has been an active researcher into the neurodevelopmental assessment of children receiving new technologies since 1982. Dr. Msall’s research has focused on advancing knowledge between developmental processes, genetics, neurobiology, and child disability outcomes. Current research in progress includes themes on (1) the demography of …

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Maternal Stressful Life Events Prior to Conception and the Impact on Infant Birth Weight in the United States

By Whitney P. Witt, PhD, MPH, Erika R. Cheng, PhD, MPA, Lauren E. Wisk, PhD, Kristin Litzelman, PhD, Debanjana Chatterjee, MA, Kara Mandell, MA, and Fathima Wakeel, PhD, MPH

Objectives. We sought to determine if and to what extent a woman’s exposure to stressful life events prior to conception (PSLEs) were associated with subsequent infant birth weight by using a nationally representative sample of US women.   Methods. We examined 9350 mothers and infants participating in the first wave of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort in 2001. Weighted regressions estimated the effect of exposure on very low and low birth weight, adjusting for maternal sociodemographic and health factors and stress during pregnancy.   Results. Twenty percent of women experienced any PSLE. In adjusted analyses, exposed women were 38% more likely to have a very low birth weight …

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Long run impacts of childhood access to the safety net

By H Hoynes, D Whitmore Schanzenbach and D Almond

A growing economics literature establishes a causal link between in utero shocks and health and human capital in adulthood. Most studies rely on extreme negative shocks such as famine and pandemics. We are the first to examine the impact of a positive and policy-driven change in economic resources available in utero and during childhood. In particular, we focus on the introduction of a key element of the U.S. safety net, the Food Stamp Program, which was rolled out across counties in the U.S. between 1961 and 1975. We use the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to assemble unique data linking family background and county of residence in early childhood to …

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Prenatal, perinatal, early life, and sociodemographic factors underlying racial differences in the likelihood of high body mass index in early childhood

By MM Weden MM, P Brownell P and MS Rendall

OBJECTIVES: We investigated early childhood disparities in high body mass index (BMI) between Black and White US children. METHODS: We compared differences in Black and White children’s prevalence of sociodemographic, prenatal, perinatal, and early life risk and protective factors; fit logistic regression models predicting high BMI (≥ 95th percentile) at age 4 to 5 years to 2 nationally representative samples followed from birth; and performed separate and pooled-survey estimations of these models. RESULTS: After adjustment for sample design-related variables, models predicting high BMI in the 2 samples were statistically indistinguishable. In the pooled-survey models, Black children’s odds of high BMI were 59% higher than White children’s (odds ratio [OR] = …

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Stress and the brain: how experiences and exposures across the life span shape health, development, and learning in adolescence

By Sara B. Johnson and Robert W. Blum

Recognizing the utility of a life course perspective, this special issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health examines the impact of experience in shaping brain and behavior from the prenatal period through adolescence. This issue is based on a conference, “Stress and the Brain: Implications for Health, Development and Learning,” held at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in April 2011. It was a collaboration of the Schools of Education and Public Health and was sponsored by the Carol and Eugene Ludwig Fund. The conference brought together a multidisciplinary group of experts to consider the role of stress, adversity, and experience broadly defined, during the prenatal, childhood, and …

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Fetal programming of body composition, obesity, and metabolic function: the role of intrauterine stress and stress biology

By S Entringer, C Buss, JM Swanson, DM Cooper, DA Wing, F Waffarn, PD Wadhwa

Epidemiological, clinical, physiological, cellular, and molecular evidence suggests that the origins of obesity and metabolic dysfunction can be traced back to intrauterine life and supports an important role for maternal nutrition prior to and during gestation in fetal programming. The elucidation of underlying mechanisms is an area of interest and intense investigation. In this perspectives paper we propose that in addition to maternal nutrition-related processes it may be important to concurrently consider the potential role of intrauterine stress and stress biology. We frame our arguments in the larger context of an evolutionary-developmental perspective that supports roles for both nutrition and stress as key environmental conditions driving natural selection and developmental …

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From infant to mother: early disease environment and future maternal health

By Douglas Almond, Janet Currie and Mariesa Herrmann

This paper examines the links between the disease environment around the time of a woman’s birth and her health at the time she delivers her own infant. Our results suggest that exposure to disease in early childhood significantly increases the incidence of diabetes in the population of future mothers. The exposed mothers are less likely to be married, have fewer years of education, are more likely to gain over 60 pounds while pregnant and are more likely to smoke while pregnant. Not surprisingly then, exposure increases the probability of low birth weight in the next generation, at least among whites. Among whites, this effect remains when we control for maternal …

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Prenatal exposure to a natural disaster increases risk for obesity in 5½-year-old children

By Kelsey Needham Dancause, David P. Laplante, Sarah Fraser, Alain Brunet, Antonio Ciampi, Norbert Schmitz and Suzanne King

An adverse environment in utero, including exposure to prenatal maternal stress (PNMS), can result in poor birth outcomes such as low birth weight, which increases risk of later cardiometabolic diseases such as hypertension and obesity. It is unclear to what extent PNMS influences obesity risk independent of its impact on birth characteristics, especially among humans. Our objective was to determine whether PNMS resulting from a natural disaster influenced risk of childhood obesity. Read full article

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