Introduction Obesity has become one of the most urgent nutritional and health issues of our time. Globally, the number of obese people is at a historical high with the incidence continuing to rise. Obesity is prevalent in young women  and latest predictions indicate that in the USA and UK 40–50% of women will be obese by 2030 . A neglected complication of obesity is female infertility as well as increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (or PCOS), a prevalent endocrine disorder which manifests with both metabolic symptoms including insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, as well as reproductive complications such as anovulation. Entering pregnancy in an obese condition predisposes both mother and fetus to significant health problems that can complicate an already risky pregnancy. It is increasingly evident that obesity is a self-perpetuating transgenerational disease that is transmitted from mothers to the next generation. While obesity alters body metabolism and leads to consequences in multiple aspects of the reproductive system, this chapter will summarize the available data from experimental animal models and clinical studies showing an impact on oocyte developmental potential. This rapidly accumulating evidence, particularly from animal models, demonstrates that obesity affects oocyte maturation and the earliest stages of embryo development; alterations that have lasting consequences on the metabolism and developmental programming of the progeny.
|Title of host publication||Biology and Pathology of the Oocyte|
|Subtitle of host publication||Role in Fertility, Medicine, and Nuclear Reprogramming, Second Edition|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|