Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340849

Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: The epigenetics of obesity

item FRAZIER-WOOD, ALEXIS - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item ALLISON, DAVID - University Of Alabama

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/2/2016
Publication Date: 3/3/2017
Citation: Frazier-Wood, A.C., Allison, D.B. 2017. The epigenetics of obesity. In: Brownell, K.D. & Walsh, B.T., editors. Eating Disorders and Obesity: A Comprehensive Handbook. The Guilford Press. p. 31-38.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Maternal nutrition at the time of conception and during pregnancy is considered a factor for individual differences in having obesity. The mechanisms underlying this association are likely partially epigenetic in nature, but pinning down the exact nature, location, and timing of these changes remains a challenge. This knowledge, when gained, will have to be integrated into studies that consider the effects of these epigenetic changes in utero in conjunction with epigenetic changes that occur across the lifespan in response to age or environmental factors such as stress, exercise, and food intake. Currently, there is optimism for identifying epigenetic changes that underlie not only the formation and differentiation of adipose tissue cells but are also responsible for individual differences in adiposity and obesity risk. This is far from a known conclusion, however, and this remains an exciting area of research.