DOHaD Interventions: Opportunities During Adolescence and the Periconceptional Period

  • Jacquie BayEmail author
  • Delaney Yaqona
  • Masahito Oyamada
Part of the Current Topics in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine book series (CTEHPM)


Collective evidence underpinning the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis demonstrates that interventions to improve the nutritional environment during early life offer an important opportunity for primary prevention of DOHaD-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This evidence has led to important programs targeting pregnancy and early childhood. However, addressing the full potential of the DOHaD paradigm also requires consideration of the periconceptional period, and therefore health behaviors prior to pregnancy and parenthood, alongside the complex array of personal and societal factors influencing these behaviors. Therefore, adolescence, the life stage during which cognitive, psychosocial, and lifestyle behaviors that persist into adulthood are formed, should be a key DOHaD intervention point. Schools and tertiary institutions play a major role in the lives of adolescents, supporting the development of capabilities associated with engaged citizenship including scientific and health literacies and key life competencies. Providing young people who are developing these capabilities with opportunities to examine evidence about NCD risk and prevention can empower adolescents to engage in development of and/or participation in evidence-based actions that can contribute toward interrupting the transgenerational conditioning/programming of NCD vulnerability. Realizing the potential of interventions that target the adolescent life stage requires effective cross-sectoral partnerships between education, science, and public health. Education should be a key partner, bringing important expertise alongside that of health and science to facilitate the task of the translation of DOHaD evidence to adolescents within community settings.


Adolescent Periconceptional Primary NCD risk Multi-sectoral Education 



Community-based participatory research


Developmental Origins of Health and Disease


Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity


Noncommunicable disease


Physical education


Small Island Developing States


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liggins InstituteUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Nukutere CollegeRarotongaCook Islands
  3. 3.Department of Food Science and Human NutritionFuji Women’s UniversitySapporoJapan

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