Developmental Origins of Common Disease: Epigenetic Contributions to Obesity

Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. 2016 Aug 31:17:177-92. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genom-090314-050057. Epub 2016 May 11.


The perinatal period is a window of susceptibility for later life disease. Recent epigenetic findings are beginning to increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that may contribute to the programming of obesity. This review summarizes recent evidence that supports the role of epigenetically mediated early life programming in the later onset of obesity. Establishing such links between environmental exposures and modifiable molecular changes ultimately holds promise to inform interventional efforts toward alleviating the environmentally mediated onset of obesity.

Keywords: developmental programming; epigenetics; obesity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Epigenomics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Pregnancy