Discovery Science Research to Improve Understanding of Risk and Causal Mechanisms for Obesity in Early Life
May 2021 Council
DDN, OOR, DEM
Point(s) of Contact
Stavroula K. Osganian, M.D., Sc.D., M.P.H.; Miranda Broadney, M.D., M.P.H.
Obesity in children remains a major public health problem, with the most recent prevalence among youth ages to 2-19 years estimated at 20%. Research suggests that high-risk growth trajectories emerge during infancy and early childhood and tend to persist, suggesting this is a critical period in the development and prevention of obesity. The goal of this initiative is to stimulate innovative, discovery research to better understand interindividual variability in risk and underlying causal mechanisms for accelerated weight gain and the development of obesity during infancy and early childhood. This initiative proposes to establish a diverse, prospective cohort of pregnant women early in pregnancy to systematically and intensively study mothers and their offspring. Focusing research efforts to better understand early causal determinants of pediatric obesity may yield targeted, more effective, and durable obesity prevention and treatment interventions.