Evidence from the field of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) demonstrates that early life environmental exposures impact later-life risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This has revealed the transgenerational nature of NCD risk, thus demonstrating that interventions to improve environmental exposures during early life offer important potential for primary prevention of DOHaD-related NCDs. Based on this evidence, the prospect of multi-sectoral approaches to enable primary NCD risk reduction has been highlighted in major international reports. It is agreed that pregnancy, lactation and early childhood offer significant intervention opportunities. However, the importance of interventions that establish positive behaviors impacting nutritional and non-nutritional environmental exposures in the pre-conceptual period in both males and females, thus capturing the full potential of DOHaD, must not be overlooked. Adolescence, a period where life-long health-related behaviors are established, is therefore an important life-stage for DOHaD-informed intervention. DOHaD evidence underpinning this potential is well documented. However, there is a gap in the literature with respect to combined application of theoretical evidence from science, education and public health to inform intervention design. This paper addresses this gap, presenting a review of evidence informing theoretical frameworks for adolescent DOHaD interventions that is accessible collectively to all relevant sectors.
Keywords: adolescence; complexity; developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD); knowledge translation; multi-sectoral; noncommunicable disease risk; obesity; school-based.