The role of maternal diet in programming obesity, hypertension and metabolic disease and its relevance to the Western Pacific population

Aurora Elisaia, Benjamin Barzel, Ryan Wood-Bradley, Sarah Henry, Luise Anne Cullen-McEwen, John Frederick Bertram, James Armitage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The increasing prevalence of non-communicable dis-eases reflects an escalating cost and burden to society. Metabolic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, insu-lin resistance, renal diseases and cardiovascular disease are a few of the interrelated diseases that are tradition-ally attributed to lifestyle factors such as obesity. How-ever these diseases may also be programmed in-utero, as a result of exposure to a sub-optimal in-utero envi-ronment. Maternal factors such as dietary intake, cen-tral adiposity and general heath during gestation may significantly contribute to the programming of an off-spring disease phenotype. Ethnicity is an identified in-dependent risk factor as indigenous societies appear to have a greater risk of expressing cardiovascular and metabolic disease phenotypes compared with their Western counterparts. This together with the shift to-wards Western diets and an increasingly sedentary life-style caused by changing work habits increases the pro-pensity for diabetes and hypertension in indigenous populations. This review discusses the developmental origins of obe-sity and related diseases and the impact of obesity and related cardiovascular and metabolic disease. We dis-cuss these implications in reference to the global com-munity as well as the Western Pacific.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8 - 15
Number of pages8
JournalSamoa Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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