Influence of Adipose Tissue on Early Metabolic Programming: Conditioning Factors and Early Screening

Diagnostics (Basel). 2023 Apr 22;13(9):1510. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics13091510.


Background: Obesity and being overweight have become one of the world's most severe health issues, not only because of the pathology but also because of the development of related comorbidities. Even when children reach adulthood, the mother's environment during pregnancy has been found to have a significant impact on obesity prevention in children. Thus, both maternal dietary habits and other factors such as gestational diabetes mellitus, excessive weight gain during pregnancy, smoking, or endocrine factors, among others, could influence newborn growth, adiposity, and body composition at birth, in childhood and adolescence, hence programming health in adulthood.

Methods: The aim of this review is to analyze the most recent human studies on the programming of fetal adipose tissue to determine which modifiable factors may influence adiposity and thus prevent specific disorders later in life by means of a bibliographic review of articles related to the subject over the last ten years.

Conclusions: The importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle not only during pregnancy and the first months of life but also throughout childhood, especially during the first two years of life as this is a period of great plasticity, where the foundations for optimal health in later life will be laid, preventing the emergence of noncommunicable diseases including obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, being overweight, and any other pathology linked to metabolic syndrome, which is so prevalent today, through health programs beginning at a young age.

Keywords: adipogenesis; adipose tissue; fetal programming; obesity; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

Juan M. Toledano was supported by a FPU contract with grant reference FPU21/04865 funded by Ministry of Education of Spain.