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Genetic and Developmental Origins of Food Preferences and Obesity Risk: The Role of Dopamine

Chapter
Part of the Research and Perspectives in Endocrine Interactions book series (RPEI, volume 12)

Abstract

Fetal growth and development associates with poor lifetime health outcomes. Despite the strength of the epidemiological evidence, there is little research that describes the functional pathways linking fetal development to brain-based disorders and metabolic health. We used a longitudinal cohort (Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment; MAVAN) to study children of mothers recruited at mid-gestation and examine neurodevelopmental outcomes focusing on the association between birth weight and phenotypes associated with attention deficit disorder and obesity. These studies provide preliminary support for a ‘thrifty’ eating hypothesis that emphasizes the potential adaptive value of altered appetite regulation in the face of predicted nutritional deprivation, with impaired fetal growth as a marker for the in utero states that would produce such a prediction. We suggest that the effects might be mediated by altered activity across the mesocorticolimbic dopamine.

Keywords

Ventral Tegmental Area Fetal Growth Binge Eating Fetal Growth Restriction Palatable Food 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Pediatria, Faculdade de MedicinaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulRio Grande do SulBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and PhysiologyUniversity of Toronto and Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Institute for Human DevelopmentUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Douglas Mental Health University InstituteMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  5. 5.Singapore Institute for Clinical SciencesSingaporeSingapore

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