Developmental origins of obesity: Early feeding environments, infant growth, and the intestinal microbiome
ABSTRACT Pediatric overweight and obesity are growing problems worldwide, with increasing prevalence among even infants and young children. The refractory nature of early overweight necessitates identifying the factors contributing to early excess weight gain for successful intervention. Early feeding practices may be particularly important in shaping long-term vulnerability to obesity. How and what infants are fed can influence weight gain, adiposity, and energy metabolism during infancy and across the life course through a number of interacting physiological and behavioral pathways. This article argues that these biological mechanisms interact with the social and behavioral context of infant feeding to create differential vulnerability to later obesity.
This article reviews recent research on the potential mechanisms linking infant feeding and risk of later obesity, focusing on the emerging role of microflora colonization.
The nutritive and non-nutritive components of breastmilk, formula and solid foods and the practices surrounding feeding shape the infant metabolome, programming growth rates and body composition, altering metabolism and physiology, promoting differential microfloral colonization, and shaping behavioral responses to foods and eating.
The occurrence of chronic disease precursors at increasingly younger ages and the tendency of overweight young children to become overweight adolescents and adults underscore the importance of understanding this complex early exposure and intervening early to prevent the development of obesity in increasingly weight-promoting environments.
SourceAvailable from: Terri Ashmeade[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The very low birth weight (VLBW) infant is at great risk for marked dysbiosis of the gut microbiome due to multiple factors, including physiological immaturity and prenatal/postnatal influences that disrupt the development of a normal gut flora. However, little is known about the developmental succession of the microbiota in preterm infants as they grow and mature. This review provides a synthesis of our understanding of the normal development of the infant gut microbiome and contrasts this with dysbiotic development in the VLBW infant. The role of human milk in normal gut microbial development is emphasized, along with the role of the gut microbiome in immune development and gastroenteric health. Current research provides evidence that the gut microbiome interacts extensively with many physiological systems and metabolic processes in the developing infant. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are currently no studies prospectively mapping the gut microbiome of VLBW infants through early childhood. This knowledge gap must be filled to inform a healthcare system that can provide for the growth, health, and development of VLBW infants. The paper concludes with speculation about how the VLBW infants' gut microbiome might function through host-microbe interactions to contribute to the sequelae of preterm birth, including its influence on growth, development, and general health of the infant host.10/2014; 2:38. DOI:10.1186/2049-2618-2-38
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ABSTRACT: The postnatal feeding practices of obese and overweight mothers may place their children at increased risk for the development of obesity through shared biology and family environments. This article reviews the feeding practices of obese mothers, describes the potential mechanisms linking maternal feeding behaviors to child obesity risk, and highlights the potential avenues of intervention. Strategies important for improving the quality of the eating environment and preventing the intergenerational transmission of obesity include supporting breastfeeding, improving the food choices of obese women, and encouraging the development of feeding styles that are responsive to hunger and satiety cues.Nutrition Reviews 10/2013; 71(S1). DOI:10.1111/nure.12054 · 5.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human milk contains many metabolic hormones that may influence infant growth. Milk leptin is positively associated with maternal adiposity and inversely associated with infant growth. Most research has been conducted in populations with higher leptin levels; it is not well understood how milk leptin may vary in lean populations or the associations that reduced leptin may have with infant size for age. It is also largely unknown if associations between maternal body composition and milk leptin persist past 1 year of age.Journal of Human Lactation 10/2014; DOI:10.1177/0890334414553247 · 1.98 Impact Factor