Eating behavior is strongly regulated by intrinsic physiological factors and largely influenced by the individual and cultural environments. Excessive food intake and sedentary lifestyle are the main reasons for the global epidemic of obesity. The influence of family background on eating habits makes no doubt but the fact that the nutritional, metabolic and hormonal status of the parents before conception, and of the mother during gestation and lactation, may influence the child's future eating behavior is an innovative concept that opens the way for preventive policies. In the last decades, research on human cohorts and animal models have targeted biological mechanisms (neuroanatomical, epigenetic) that give some clues on how eating behavior can be formatted by early nutrition and related sensory experience.
© 2016 médecine/sciences – Inserm.