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Translating the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept to improve the nutritional environment for our next generations: a call for a reflexive, positive, multi-level approach

Translating the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept to improve the nutritional environment for our next generations: a call for a reflexive, positive, multi-level approach
Translating the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept to improve the nutritional environment for our next generations: a call for a reflexive, positive, multi-level approach

Evidence supporting the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis indicates that improving early life environments can reduce non-communicable disease risks and improve health over the lifecourse. A widespread understanding of this evidence may help to reshape structures, guidelines and individual behaviors to better the developmental conditions for the next generations. Yet, few efforts have yet been made to translate the DOHaD concept beyond the research community. To understand why, and to identify priorities for DOHaD Knowledge Translation (KT) programs, we review here a portion of published descriptions of DOHaD KT efforts and critiques thereof. We focus on KT targeting people equipped to apply DOHaD knowledge to their everyday home or work lives. We identified 17 reports of direct-to-public DOHaD KT that met our inclusion criteria. Relevant KT programs have been or are being initiated in nine countries, most focusing on secondary school students or care-workers-in-training; few target parents-to-be. Early indicators suggest that such programs can empower participants. Main critiques of DOHaD KT suggest it may overburden mothers with responsibility for children's health and health environments, minimizing the roles of other people and institutions. Simultaneously, though, many mothers-to-be seek reliable guidance on prenatal health and nutrition, and would likely benefit from engagement with DOHaD KT. We thus recommend emphasizing solidarity, and bringing together people likely to one day become parents (youth), people planning pregnancies, expecting couples, care workers and policymakers into empowering conversation about DOHaD and about the importance and complexity of early life environments.

blame, DOHaD, Knowledge Translation (KT), mothers, non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
2040-1744
420-428
McKerracher, L.
fbdb8e61-5a2e-41a6-a2e3-b429fd7e79fb
Moffat, T.
7ad5d8f4-3c71-49e8-a080-3f981996671f
Barker, M.
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2
Williams, D.
95d79b37-164c-4a29-9061-9c3f70e55246
Sloboda, D.M.
6ce36e7c-9182-450e-820d-3de47c1fc5fb
McKerracher, L.
fbdb8e61-5a2e-41a6-a2e3-b429fd7e79fb
Moffat, T.
7ad5d8f4-3c71-49e8-a080-3f981996671f
Barker, M.
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2
Williams, D.
95d79b37-164c-4a29-9061-9c3f70e55246
Sloboda, D.M.
6ce36e7c-9182-450e-820d-3de47c1fc5fb

McKerracher, L., Moffat, T., Barker, M., Williams, D. and Sloboda, D.M. (2019) Translating the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept to improve the nutritional environment for our next generations: a call for a reflexive, positive, multi-level approach. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 10 (4), 420-428. (doi:10.1017/S2040174418001034).

Record type: Review

Abstract

Evidence supporting the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis indicates that improving early life environments can reduce non-communicable disease risks and improve health over the lifecourse. A widespread understanding of this evidence may help to reshape structures, guidelines and individual behaviors to better the developmental conditions for the next generations. Yet, few efforts have yet been made to translate the DOHaD concept beyond the research community. To understand why, and to identify priorities for DOHaD Knowledge Translation (KT) programs, we review here a portion of published descriptions of DOHaD KT efforts and critiques thereof. We focus on KT targeting people equipped to apply DOHaD knowledge to their everyday home or work lives. We identified 17 reports of direct-to-public DOHaD KT that met our inclusion criteria. Relevant KT programs have been or are being initiated in nine countries, most focusing on secondary school students or care-workers-in-training; few target parents-to-be. Early indicators suggest that such programs can empower participants. Main critiques of DOHaD KT suggest it may overburden mothers with responsibility for children's health and health environments, minimizing the roles of other people and institutions. Simultaneously, though, many mothers-to-be seek reliable guidance on prenatal health and nutrition, and would likely benefit from engagement with DOHaD KT. We thus recommend emphasizing solidarity, and bringing together people likely to one day become parents (youth), people planning pregnancies, expecting couples, care workers and policymakers into empowering conversation about DOHaD and about the importance and complexity of early life environments.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 17 December 2018
Published date: 1 August 2019
Keywords: blame, DOHaD, Knowledge Translation (KT), mothers, non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 434172
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/434172
ISSN: 2040-1744
PURE UUID: fae4de37-91d9-426d-a750-2f48c37a3393
ORCID for M. Barker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2976-0217

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Date deposited: 13 Sep 2019 16:30
Last modified: 14 Sep 2019 00:39

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Contributors

Author: L. McKerracher
Author: T. Moffat
Author: M. Barker ORCID iD
Author: D. Williams
Author: D.M. Sloboda

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