The impact of perinatal history in the occurrence of childhood obesity: a literature review

V. Notara, S. Kokkou, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: It is widely accepted, that the increased prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity poses an important public health problem since it increases the risk for early onset of non-communicable diseases with potentially increased health complications during adulthood. Childhood obesity prevention is therefore of primary importance; hence it is mandatory to understand its main causes and identify the mechanisms associated with weight gain. Although its etiology can be partly attributed to genetic and behavioral factors, evidence from existing literature indicates that the perinatal environment may also increase the risk of childhood obesity; the latter, however, has not been thoroughly investigated and discussed. Methods: A literature search was conducted in scientific databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Scopus) in order to reveal recent epidemiologic studies, with emphasis on works from the last decade. Studies whose primary or secondary object was the association between type of delivery, breastfeeding and/or gestational diabetes mellitus with overweight and obesity in childhood and preadolescence were taken into account. Studies that did not meet the aim of the current review were excluded. Results: The retrieved information revealed that there is a noteworthy association between perinatal factors and childhood and preadolescence overweight/obesity occurrence, though the exact pathways still need to be elucidated. Conclusions: Public health professionals should take into account perinatal determinants when estimating a child’s risk of overweight and obesity development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of perinatal history in the occurrence of childhood obesity: a literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this